Post # 1
My future in laws do not have any pets and do not seem to like animals in general. My fiance and I love animals and have a dog and two cats. We take good care of them and like to talk about them. This past weekend his parents came to the townhouse to visit. We were sitting around and talking about our pets when Fiance made a joke that we might one day get more pets. We aren’t seriously considering this right now. We’re just the type of people that like to rescue animals. After this comment, his father turned to me and said, “You don’t want any more pets, right? You don’t want people calling you the cat lady.”
I was offended by this comment. First of all, we aren’t seriously considering getting more pets. Second of all, even if we did get more pets, why does it matter? As long as we are able to financially and physically care for them, then we should be able to do what we want. So I told him, “The only people who say things like that are people who don’t have pets.” I was hoping he would get the hint that I was offended, but instead he replied, “Well, that’s a lot of people! Hahaha.”
We didn’t talk about pets after that, but I’m still a little offended that his father would come out and say things like that to me. Has anyone been in a situation like this? How did you or would you react to a comment like that?
Edit: I’m not planning on bringing this up to Future Father-In-Law. I’m just a little offended and wanted to hear what other people would do in this situation.
Post # 3
To be honest, it sounds like he was trying to make a joke out of it. I would let it go…I always find that it’s best to pick and choose my battles with my in-laws. This is definitely one I would complain to my Darling Husband about, but never mention again.
Post # 4
I wouldn’t be offended. Sorry. Some people don’t like animals, its not a crime. Plus there are far worse things he could have said. I’d let this one go.
Post # 5
A friend of mine has 7 cats. Yes, 7! I tell her all the time that if she weren’t married, I’d call her the cat lady… we are dear friends so we can joke with each other about these things. Fiance & I have 3 dogs, so we’re the dog people. I doubt he meant any offense, but he may not know how his comment came across.
Post # 6
If it bothers you enough, have your Fiance say something to him to not talk like that.
My Father-In-Law has made the comment “it’s just a dog” to me several times, and I finally made Darling Husband say something to him about it. I found it exteremly offensive, especially when they flipped out about their dog all the time. They get SO upset when she gets near our dog, in fear he’s going to attack her (when she’s the antisocial one).
I haven’t heard that comment since then. Any time they bring up something else about our animals, I make a point to remark about their dog. Usually shuts them up real quick. Obviously you can’t do this since they don’t hvae pets, but I’d at least have Fiance talk to them if it bothers you enough.
Post # 7
I dont see this as offensive.
Post # 8
I agree. I get that it offended you but it’s not worth wasting your energy on. “Cat lady” is a very innocent joke, I wouldn’t even call it an insult. I have tons of pets, and my best friend has 2 cats, I call him a cat lady all the time. And he’s right that a lot of people don’t have pets. That is true, I don’t think he meant it to be mean. It sounds like having pets is really important to you, but just because they choose not to doesn’t mean they’re judging you something. They just don’t have pets.
Post # 9
I think you are over reacting. it sounds like he was just trying to be funny. id let it go.
Post # 10
I agree with the PP, you are over reacting. I kid with a co worker she is the cat lady and she has two cats. I have a cat myself. I think you need to just step away and calm down a bit
Post # 11
I wouldn’t worry about it. He was probably trying to be funny, even though it’s not.
My Father-In-Law shows pretty open distain for my love of animals, even saying at one point that if I want something to take care of I should just have a baby instead of getting a dog – I ignore it and know that his life is less meaningful for not knowing the joy of having a pet 🙂
Post # 12
I’m not planning to bring it up to him. I just felt like he was using the term in a negative fashion. They often talk bad about people who have a lot of pets and say things like, “Can you believe so and so has four dogs” or “They live in a zoo!” I guess I’m sensitive because I don’t want them saying the same type of things about me or Fiance.
Post # 13
don’t be so hard on him! it sounds like a joke. i’m super sensitive over “dumb” things more frequently than i would like. i try to remember “assume positive intent.” this means, instead of thinking someone is attacking you (unless it is blatant) assume the best. he was making a joke. he was trying to connect.
The core of the idea is that human beings are not inherently malicious, conniving creatures and that most of our ideas and actions are well-intentioned. Even many of the ones that SEEM spiteful and rude are often driven by positively-fueled emotions like concern, compassion, and curiosity. Obviously, some people are just assholes. And some non-assholes occasionally make asshole moves. But to me, “assume positive intent” doesn’t mean, “Be a naive fool who trusts everyone to be filled with Mother Teresa-level compassion.” It means, “Try to examine sentiments and actions from multiple perspectives before allowing yourself to feel hurt or offended.”