Having a housemate can be fun, but there are certain exceptions, like when two people can’t agree with how people will live in the house.
That might even include interactions with pets, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor cherrimushroom was shocked when her housemate started demanding that she interact with her own cat less so he could interact with it more.
When they couldn’t seem to come to a compromise, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to do.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not changing the way I kiss my cat to accommodate for my housemate’s autism?”
The OP tried to be accommodating of her housemate.
“I (20 [Female]) moved in with my best friend (21 [Male]) a few months ago.”
“Around that time he also found out that he is most likely autistic (he is still searching for a cheap diagnosis option but is working through things with his therapist).”
“A big part of his autism is disgust sensitivity which makes him very sensitive to germs.”
“He has separate cutlery to me, keeps all of his property separate, cleans the washing machine every time I use it, and doesn’t let me touch his side of the couch, among other things.”
“At first, I didn’t understand but now I am happy to help make him more comfortable at home. He shouldn’t have to worry about those things so I know it’s my responsibility to respect his boundaries.”
The housemate then requested too much.
“Today however I felt this went too far when I was kissing my cat repeatedly on the head while she was sitting near him on the couch.”
“He then started telling me to get away from her and expressed that he doesn’t like it when I kiss her like that because of the possibility for my saliva going on her.”
“He said that it makes him uncomfortable and he wants me to kiss her less or space out the kisses more.”
“I was taken aback and said that I wouldn’t change the way I interact with my own cat because of him.”
“He then said that he wouldn’t be able to kiss her for a while because of it and implied that I was being ableist.”
“He said that it’s not his fault if I have a problem with it because he isn’t in control of how it makes him feel. He kept trying to make it that I was the issue and to blame for the situation.”
The two housemates couldn’t seem to come to a conclusion.
“We went back and forth about that for a bit and he ended up comparing it to the cutlery and washing machine.”
“I said that it’s not comparable because 1) they’re objects, not a cat, and 2) those things are either his or shared property, meanwhile my cat is not his.”
“I said that I am fine to accommodate all of those things but I am not willing to do that with my cat.”
“I said that he has no right to tell me what to do with my own cat.”
“He then said that he isn’t telling me what to do and that he is just expressing his discomfort.”
“I then said that he was gaslighting me and he burst into tears because he didn’t like being called a gaslighter.”
“Afterward, we spoke again and figured out that he had forgotten he told me that he wanted me to change and that he has trouble communicating.”
“I apologized for calling him a gaslighter but he continued it say that it was my fault for reacting and not wanting to compromise.”
“It’s very awkward now between us and I’m not sure how to proceed without upsetting him further.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some didn’t appreciate the housemate utilizing his diagnosis.
“NTA: he hasn’t even been fully diagnosed yet and he’s already weaponizing it… it’s time to move.” – PRSMesa182
“I feel like the roommate is setting into a diagnosis that isn’t one yet and just pushing boundaries.” – Lola_M1224
“I’ve seen a trend of people saying things like, ‘I have undiagnosed autism/anxiety /ADHD’… which sounds to me like people glamourising mental illness and using it as a reason for their simply s**tty behaviour.” – ashakilee
“I mean… They’re (people with autism) not sensitive to germs though? It’s the anxiety or fear of germs.”
“If it was logical and tangible then they wouldn’t need to clean the washing machine between every use. I know that hands aren’t covered in oil and slimy but the thought of touching someone’s hand other than my boyfriend grosses me out. Why isn’t his hand oily, slimey, and gross? Cause it’s not rational.”
“The housemate is 100% weaponizing something they don’t even know they have but just because it doesn’t make scientific or personal sense doesn’t mean they’re lying.” – wheredMyArmourGo
Others took issue with the housemate’s inconsistent requirements.
“My first thought was what is the ‘sensitive to germs’ dude doing kissing a cat. OP’s saliva is gross, but the cat’s saliva is fine?” – Unlikely-Piano3442
“He only cleans the machine after she’s used it. It honestly sounds like he’s trying to control his friend rather than him actually being autistic.” – k1k11983
“If he’s bothered by other people’s germs then he should let her kiss her own cat and he doesn’t because of OP’s germs? He’s being selfish.” – BadwolfRoseTyler
One Redditor had a sweet solution.
“If someone told me I would have to kiss my cats less, I would not respond well. I NEED to kiss my many cats multiple times a day.”
“However, I cannot condemn the roommate too much, he is saying this because he wants to kiss the cat. After some time on Reddit, I am glad I am not reading about a roommate who is mean to the cat, wants to get rid of the cat, claims an allergy, etc.”
“So my solution is the obvious one: get the roommate his own cat!! Preferably a cuddly one who likes being kissed. Some of mine even tolerate tummy kisses! So a visit to a rescue or shelter where they already know the cat’s personality is in order.” – everyonemustlovecats
Though the OP thought she might be in the wrong after how adamant her housemate was being, the subReddit insisted she wasn’t. It was her cat, after all, and the housemate was using a diagnosis he didn’t necessarily have yet.