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Woman Stunned After Coworker Calls Her Out For Allowing Cats In Home Office During Meetings

Linda Raymond/Getty Images

Thanks to Covid the world was thrust into the realm of ZOOM very fast. How we work, and where has completely changed.

So many professional office people have had to navigate how to “work” and balance the glimpse into one’s home life.

We’ve all seen the videos, kids running amok, food on fire and pets—soooo many pets sitting in on meetings.

What do you do when other’s don’t appreciate their attendance?

Case in point…

Redditor hasacat36 wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for not making my cats leave my office during meetings?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (36 f[emale]) work at a company with around 30 employees. Basically everyone working here knows each other.”

“I’ve been working there for 8 years, the longest of any of the people who are employees and not the founders of the company.”

“I live a ways away from the company office.”

“For probably about 5 years now I’ve worked remotely and only came into the office when I had to attend meetings in person or meet new employees.”

“When Covid hit everyone started working remotely. Recently, though, most people have been working back in the office.”

“This is just not possible for me because I cannot reasonably travel there every day.”

“If I have to go to a meeting for a day then I have to go there the day before or wake up insanely early, I live 4 hours away.”

“In the early spring of 2020, we hired a woman named Sue. I haven’t talked much to her because I haven’t been to the office since we hired her but she seemed perfectly friendly when I did interact with her.”

“I have my own home office set up. I usually work with at least one of my cats in there, sometimes with them on the desk.”

“Most people know them, as I’ve had one for the entire time I’ve been at the job. They’ve gotten in the camera a few times but never been a disruption to the meeting.’

“Usually if I notice they’re in the camera I move them out of the way.”

“A few days ago I was on a meeting with Sue and a few other people.”

“One of my cats was rubbing her head against my computer monitor and was visible in the camera and someone asked if that was my cat.”

“I held her up to the camera and then we went on with our meeting. Sue seemed a little annoyed but didn’t say anything.”

“After the meeting, though, Sue sent me a message through the software we use.”

“She said ‘I would appreciate it if you didn’t let your cat in the office, as this is a professional space. The rest of us can’t bring our animals to work and neither should you. This is a workplace, not a zoo’.”

“The founders of the company have no problem with it, and one of them was actually in the meeting, and didn’t say anything.”

“I thought Sue was out of line, especially since she is the second newest employee.”

“But whenever I’ve talked to her she’s been passive aggressive about it, even if we’re talking about something different.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors believed our OP was NOT the A**hole. 

But it’s still a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. But you may have to get in front of this with your boss pronto.”

“Bring up that you received a complaint about your cat and wanted to check in to make sure your boss was still ok with your working situation.”

“Sue sounds like the type of coworker who finds a target to throw under the bus to either advance herself or just because she’s a pill.”  ~ EngineeringDry7999

“I think Sue is jealous that OP gets to be around their cat all day while she has to be in the office and think it’s unfair that OP gets ‘special treatment’. But that’s really not OPs fault.”  ~ BerriesAndMe

“I agree with this. Sue is probably salty because she had to come back to the office while you’re remote 100%.”

“Get in front of it with your boss for sure. She’s being ridiculous.”

“I work from home twice a week with a cat and a dog and sometimes my dog barks once or twice during a meeting and everyone is forgiving, provided it’s not a huge distraction.”

“The cat doesn’t do anything wrong but does make the occasional appearance, which most people like. Sue can go pound sand.”  ~ Mountain_Lemon9935

“Not that A**hole.”

“Is Sue higher ranked than you in the company? If not, I’d kindly let her know that your cats have been in the background for some time now.”

“It’s rare when they’re disruptive on camera, and you don’t appreciate her telling you how the company culture should be when she’s been there less than anyone.”

“If she is high ranked than you, say all that more diplomatically. Lol” ~ JoeBirdsong

“NTA and Sue needs a nap.”

“Cats, dogs, one bird, a lizard, and a small python have all been seen on camera in my corporate online meetings and they are absolutely the best part.”

“Everyone gets so excited when a pet makes an appearance.”

“As someone else on here put it, Sue needs a hot cup of SHUT THE F**K UP. (Great expression!)” ~ Lola_M1224

“NTA. Respond cordially that there is a distinct difference between long distance ‘remote’ office and an on-site office.”

“There is has been no issue until her curiously timed complaint.”

“Let her know you hope all is well in her world, but the cat is no bother and the other coworkers are fond of it.”

“Oh and Cc ‘the founders.’ S[hake] M[y] H[ead] some people…” ~ grianmharduit

“NTA – Sue is being quite dramatic.”

“I don’t own pets but during the pandemic they would come on camera and no one said anything.”

“There was actually a guy I worked with whose cat would jump on his desk and walk in front of the screen during meetings and he would gently put his cat back down on the floor but the cat kept jumping back up.”

“He apologized and said sorry if his cat was being a disturbance and he can put his cat outside the door but the scratching noise at the door might be distracting.”

“I said no worries and we continued on. He turned off his camera sometimes bc he felt like we were disturbed by the cat even though we never said anything.”  ~ Positive_Mango_2783

“NTA – what a strange thing to get upset over. Can we have kitty tax?”  ~ RaiseSubstantial8420

Well it overwhelmingly sounds like y’all want our OP to have a chat with Sue… and HR.

In this new world of work from home, there are all sorts of things co-workers have had to get used to.

Now we see into each other’s private worlds, and clearly there is a lot to meow about.