I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear brother. You seem to be going through so much. Don't feel badly about not minding the cat. No matter what your daughter thinks, it's not your obligation, especially when there are trying circumstances such as you have endured. Don't let guilt color your perspective on this.
I was surprised however that she doesn't seem to get brother in law's illness and her uncles passing (and all the turmoil surrounding these two events). How can she not understand that her cat is not your priority at this time?
On the other hand, try not to dwell on the assumption that you are somehow being 'punished' over not minding the cat. Your daughter was planning a three month trip and a wedding; events that are life changing and equally stressful even if the circumstances are different. She's probably disappointed over the cat but she'll get over it.
As others here pointed out, let time heal these 'wounds. When she returns (and reunites with her cat), she'll see things differently.
AIBU to feel left out?(68 Posts)
DD and fiancé have gone overseas travelling for 3 months and very early in the planning I was asked if we would care for their cat. We live rurally 4 1/2 hours drive from them. I muttered something along the lines of 'maybe'. It was also mentioned that a close friend of theirs may have the cat. In between all of this another daughter's husband ended up in hospital for 10 weeks and I went and looked after granddaughter for that time so daughter could stay with husband in hospital. They live 1000kms from us. (SIL all good now) Towards the end of my time away my brother was diagnosed with brain tumour. He was given 12 months and my husband and I were planning to visit about now. Unfortunately he deteriorated far quicker than was first thought and I ended flying over 2 1/2 months ago to see him, but he died whilst I was flying (24 hour trip to fly). When I came back home I was feeling very unsettled and a bit fragile and told daughter that I didn't want the responsibility of looking after cat. She was very, very, miffed to say the least. Anyway I didn't hear from her from that point . Then 2 days before they departed a message appeared on a family chat forum saying 'save the date' for their wedding next year. This was the very first we had heard of anything. I was extremely upset, tried to call but got message bank so left a message saying I was very upset to hear this way and couldn't she have at least called and told us. Message back saying she didn't understand why I was upset and she was letting us know. After speaking to her sisters I find out that she's been talking to them about venues etc. Feeling very left out and was totally blindsided by news. In the last few weeks before they left I had tried to call but had left a message wishing them both a fun and safe time and had even sent a 'bon voyage' card and she hadn't called me back. (She is a health professional and works shifts, so difficult to know when best to call). When her other sisters were married we had contributed a good sum of money towards each wedding and my husband had sent daughter an email after the notification asking if she"d give us a call as I was so upset and that wedding planning can be very fraught and we would like to contribute. She never called and sent a message saying not to worry about money. Did receive a lovely message from her partner after they had left saying he'd been unaware of our messages and that we'd get together when they're back. I was so looking forward to this wedding and now I'm not. Not even sure we will be invited. All because I didn't want the cat!! Going forward how should I deal with this? Sorry this is such a long conversation. Thank you.
I think your daughter is being a bit selfish and not really thinking of how you must be feeling at this time.
She does seem to be displaying her annoyance that you did not look after her cat. I have similar type things from time to time when I have to say 'no' Doesn't generally last long but what I do is just ignore it! I would have said something like 'how lovely, you are getting married' Let me know where to be! (no mention of helping out with money or anything) Feeling hurt and displaying it are two different things as the latter can lead to all sorts of repercussions on the basis least said soonest mended.
FWIW I understand exactly that a cat is part of a family and I am not of the 'its only a cat brigade' whatsoever. However, as with other 'favours' you are not obliged to comply every time one of our children snaps their fingers or sulks if you don't do it. I can't in all honesty see how you COULD look after her cat being so far away as despite what someone else said; a cat is much happier in its own surroundings than being carted off elsewhere, even to a cattery so if I or my children cannot look after my cat, I ask my neighbours to come in and feed him each day and let him out although I realise 3 months is a heck of a long "ask"!
Above all don't worry too much - stick to your guns and concentrate on your wellbeing. Having to deal with so many different issues at once is mentally and physically exhausting.
I sense a disconnect here between feeling fragile after bereavement and declining to want to look after the cat. Pets can be an enjoyable distraction and bring a lot of comfort at difficult times. This cat is used to living in a household where people are coming and going working shifts. Ordinarily, it may not get that much attention so it is either going to be a very independent creature just popping in for food, water and shelter (so not much care required) or it may have enjoyed being with someone who could give it some regularity of routine and attention for three months.
So why were you reluctant? Is it to do with living four and half hours drive away? Were you expected to do the nine hour round trip to pick it up and then the same to return it? That’s a lot of time and expense. If daughter wanted someone to look after the cat she should have made it clear she would deliver it and collect it and provide money for its upkeep for the three months she would be away. If she had done that would you have said yes?
As a health professional, taking three months off may not have been that popular with your daughter’s line managers. She may have been very busy trying to arrange cover and trying to get her workload as up-to-date as possible before her leave. We’ve all been there, working ourselves into a frazzle before two weeks off let alone three months. She’d assumed that cat care had been sorted. Early in your post you said you had only said "maybe" but now you were calling her to say you didn't want to do it. So somethere along the line you must have given the impression you would do it or was it still up in the air? Whichever, now, it was just another thing she had to do. Sometimes there’s a tiny little straw that breaks …
A family chat forum seems the perfect place to make a family announcement. Let everyone know simultaneously once a decision had been made about a date. Does it really matter who knows first? Isn’t the most important thing that your daughter has a partner she loves, who loves her and wants to make a life with her?
Some people want to plan and pay for their own wedding. Mine is a long time ago now but I know I did. They may want a simple affair too which isn’t going to cost a fortune. Not all wedding planning is fraught. Book a venue, invite some people, buy some clothes, organise some food and drink. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
My advice? Let the young people enjoy their trip. When they return, don’t make a huge thing of all this. Three months of adventure will have elapsed. The wedding date has been announced, someone somewhere will have looked after the cat. They may or may not want some help with the wedding but it’s up to them. If they don’t then simply see it as a mark of the hardworking, independent daughter you have brought up.
I would not dwell on your husbands possible role in his daughters wedding until you have all the details following her return.Three months should have given her time to rethink the situation. Will it be her first marriage?you mention flower girls and bridesmaids? I ask as myself at 75 had daughters of 54 and 52 and they having been married before, when much younger with bridesmaids and flower girls, it was then their father gave them away. Their second marriages were register office followed by a church blessing so fathers role was not the same . I am sure as father of the bride your husband will be involved so don't be too concerned that he will not have a role in his daughters day.
I thought it a shame that family relationships could fracture over a cat which is never truly 'owned' by anyone.
The OP didn't really jump at the chance of looking after it and I do feel sorry that she feels her daughter is being 'funny' with her re her wedding announcement.
I'm probably odd in that I expect absolutely nothing from my 5 children and they know not to ask me to look after their dogs/horses when they go away. Their inlaws do the honours. I know nothing about their daily lives as I'm not on fb, twitter or instagram so I only know what they tell me in person or in phone calls/ texts.
It's painful to hear of mothers who feel slighted when they aren't first to know or aren't invited to some celebration, or the other GPs get to see more of the GC.
I'm a mum in a million to my children (so they say ) but definitely not like most of the GNers on here in that it's well nigh impossible for me to get annoyed or upset. That may explain some of my comments.
I thought it a shame that family relationships could fracture over a cat which is never truly 'owned' by anyone.
Yes, me too, GabriellaG - although I am not a 'cat' person
LiltingLyrics you can't just let a cat come and go when you're looking after it for someone else! The cat won't think of the OP's home as its own and it will probably try to run away. It would be a mental strain, trying to make sure not one accidentally lets it out etc. And depending on the cat it could pine or start yelling all the time because it wants to get out. It's not like having your own, which I agree is a relaxing comforting thing. A guest cat does need a lot of thought and attention.
I think you may be reading more into it than there is. You've had problems and she is probably giving you some space. As her partner says, they will have a chat when they get back so why worry?
Don't let it fester. Just get on with your life and look forward to their return. From what you say about the journey, it was impractical for you to look after the cat.
1. You should definitely have made q decision on the cat earlier. Trying to book into a cattery or kennel is best done earlier rather than later because they can fill up.
2. I think there's a disconnect here about the wedding. It's your daughter's wedding. It's not about you. It's becoming more common for people to pay for their own weddings, especially if they are more established when they marry. She told you about the wedding. It may not have been the way you wanted to be told, but she told you. I think you might need to consider whether it's worth kicking off because you weren't told the way YOU wanted, and because she hasn't told YOU about HER plans. When Hubby and I married, he spoke to my parents about my hand, so they knew an engagement was forthcoming. (Hubby actually proposed to me in front of them. Mom knew in advance, so she'd bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate, but it was a surprise for Dad.) Mom helped me choose my wedding dress, but I chose my bridesmaids' dresses with my MOH. We lived several hours' drive away from my parents, and my MOH lived near me, so Mom couldn't be there. She never said she minded. At the end of the day, you had your wedding. This is your daughter's wedding.
Get together for lunch, or maybe an evening drink and explain how you feel and the reasons for not wanting extra responsibility when you felt least able.
This wedding is different in terms that they may not want you to contribute in a monetary way. Take a step back, and allow your DD to arrange her wedding day how she wants it to be.
Whatever you do, do not seem as as if you are 'helping' too much. Allow her space, and feel happy that is a joyeous event, of which you will be part of I'm sure.
Take care. xx
Oh goodness. What a lot you have had to cope with. Illness in the family etc. Your brother to worry about etc. The good news is your daughters partner is trying to help mend the rift. My username probably gives some clue that I am a cat lover but may I say cats look after themselves. My husband and I designed and built a cattery from scratch and this is meant as light hearted. We don't remember any of our hotel guests returning to their owners and saying "Oh I have been tortured in this cattery and will never speak to you again." Many got so comfortable, they weren't keen to return home but 80% were over the moon to reunite with their owners. The main reason we struggled is expense. We charged 8 euros a day including food, exercise, cleaning, vet visits, injections, grooming, not to mention cuddles, often taking kittens indoors to be with us overnight. We lived in Spain so that meant closing all windows and doors to prevent escape. We sent photos etc. to the owner to reassure them, all of the above being a pleasure to us. So 3 months is a long time. We often had them for six months. Won't bore you with why. It's expensive. I no longer have my own cat as we are now renting in London and our landlady who lives downstairs doesn't even allow a goldfish. I thought a million times before having my son at 37 because of the responsibilities. A pet requires the same thoughts and responsibilities. A child grows up and become independent but a pet never does. They rely on us. Please don't feel guilty about not looking after the cat but I do hope things mend with your daughter and her lovely sounding fiancé before the serious wedding plans. I hope I am not preaching. My wonderful experience of cats (I am lucky to have had a newspaper column writing about these beautiful creatures) is that they survive as indoor cats and equally in the wild with plenty of mice and birds on offer. Ugh not keen on that bit. I hope your daughter sends pictures of her trip.
Just to give a slightly different perspective; my son and his wife recently had their twenty week scan and afterwards announced, on the family WhatsApp group, that they're having a girl. I found it quite surprising when I told my friends and colleagues that some of them thought I ought to have been told (as baby's grandmother) before the announcement was made generally. To me it just wasn't an issue, but some friends said they would be really upset and cross to find out at the same time as everyone else.
I expect your daughter and her partner misunderstood how important it was to you to be told before others. also, they're probably caught up in their own lives just now and haven't really considered the difficulties you've been experiencing. This will pass and hopefully, when the wedding day arrives, you will all have a wonderful day.
Remember that OP only "muttered" a maybe, OP did not promise to look after the cat.
Where is the cat now? Is it possible for you to offer to look after it for the remaining time your daughter is away?
Maybe text her and say can you help out now, explaining that you were not in a fit state to help out previously.
I am another one who can see a selfish and entitled generation emerging. Thankfully, as others have said, it is not all adult children/grandchildren.
Just one example of this is below.
One of my closest friends was berated very angrily by her adult child because whilst babysitting she had been asked by her grandchild to express a preference between two pairs of shoes that the child owned.
It is a long and contrived story but she was accused of trying to turn the child against the parents (adult child and spouse).
Simply because she didn't prefer the pair that were the latest ones bought by adult child and spouse.
To add to my post above.
Can her sisters help out to smooth things over?
This may take a lot of tact and you have to be able to trust them implicitly to act in the best interests of you all.
Getting them involved could easily be seen as gossiping behind your daughters back so you would have to be careful.
They may be in a good position to spread calm. They have been through the wedding process with what sound like financial and practical help from you and your husband.
Some great advice and wonderfully thoughtful comments here which I wont add to, but just wanted to make one cat comment which I dont think anyone else has mentioned. My DD and partner have a cat and it is the total apple of their eyes, to the extent that they can hardly bear to leave it even for short periods. Undoubtedly the cat is a baby substitute. Non cat people may find this a bit hard to understand, but I get a vast long phone call about how to look after it even if they go away for the weekend. It sounds bonkers, but its one of these emotional things which doesnt appear rational to an outsider. This is not in any way to blame you for not looking after the cat. I would be daunted myself if asked to care for DD's cat for very long. Its a lot of worry and responsibility if the cat is valued so much. I am sure the cat will be fine and I do hope you all find a way through this.
I haven't read all through this thread, but I agree with a couple of posters that, if you are a cat owner, your pet's well-being is very important (and 3 months in a cattery would be awful); also, cats prefer their own surroundings, and if the cat is used to going outside, it would not be fair to keep it inside for 3 months, on the other hand in an unfamiliar place it could easily get lost/run over while outside.
The solution to me would be to try to find someone who would live in the house for those 3 months, rent-free, in exchange for caring for the cat.
Alternatively, employ a professional pet-sitting agency to come in once a day, change food, water etc. and the cat's wellbeing.
Apologies for missing the point or someone else suggesting something similar!