I will preface this by saying that my mother treated my sister and I differently. I was always less than, while she could do no wrong. She'd always buy my sister everything she wanted, while I wore her hand-me-downs. I moved out at 18, worked through college, went NC with mom and LC with sister and our paths diverged greatly from there.
I now work in a field that pays well, while she is a sahm. I guess I never quite got over this, and while I know the main AH is my mother, and my sister didn't really know any better, I still fester negative feelings towards both of them.
I found Tom in a bag as a newborn kitten. He was the only one still alive and I raised him over summer break when I was 13. Then, when school started, my mother got rid of him and I had to go through great and extreme lengths to find out where she dumped him. It took me a week to find him and we've been together ever since.
For a few months Tom hasn't really been okay and has been slowly declining. The vet, however, based on the recent blood panel we did, was confident that he still has some life left to live and said that he's by far the healthiest geriatric cat she's seen in a while.
I decided to try out surgery to improve his quality of life, even though he's 21. This surgery comes with a price tag, I'm not in the US, but it's around 3 months' worth of minimum wage in my country. It won't set us back much, hardly an inconvenience, but we'll be frugal just in case complications happen. He's scheduled for Monday, fingers crossed!
Anyway, my sister dropped by on Sunday, which was strange. We haven't spoken since she sent me a merry christmas gif on fb. Looks like her husband jumped onto the NFT bandwagon and they're kind of broke, and a few months behind on mortgage. She asked if I could help her out with the payments, since they're at risk of becoming homeless.
I said I'm sorry she's going through this, but this is not a good time for me either, and listed the reasons above. I do not want to ever be in a situation where my cat's life depends on $100 that I cannot afford to pay.
I suggested she get a job and maybe downsize/move in with mother while they get back up on their feet. She did not take this well, called me a c*nt and a crazy cat lady that's going to end up alone plus some other nice words. I kicked her out.
My mother and other relatives have been spamming me through the week for being heartless and caring more about an animal than my own flesh and blood. My husband says I could've just given her some cash to avoid the drama and he's right. I could've. This is why I feel like I might be the AH, in the end, the main reason I chose not to help is due to my childhood baggage. AITA?
He's a handsome guy! Wishing him all the best
NTA. Have you asked the family that has been spamming you how much they are financially contributing towards your sister? Hope the surgery goes well and wish a speedy recovery for Tom ♥️
Is this normal that any interpersonal conflict is followed by floods of texts from everyone the parties know outlining their position? It seems so prevalent in every post. NTA btw. Sis is AH for not accepting your answer.
TWoldcat OP responded:
Honestly, I felt like all these 'xxx started crying' and 'yyy family started spamming me' were fake until my cousins I barely know messaged me on fb.
NTA. But, next time, just tell her no, OP. She doesn't need to know your reasons. And respond to all the relatives, 'Thank you so much for letting me know that I made the wrong choice. I will let my sister know that you'll be catching her up on her bills.
Between you and X, Y, and Z she should be able to remain home, and not get a job, while also staying in her house. I suggest you all get in contact with each other to figure out what you can each contribute. You truly are amazing people.'
I would send the same message, with names changed, to everyone one of them. And then, I'd create a chat you can jump out of, including your sister, and say, 'X, Y, and Z have graciously agreed to pay your bills. These people are truly amazing. I'll just off of this chat and let you guys handle it from here.' Then, leave and block them all.
Thank you so much to all of you who have wished Tom good luck on his surgery, I'm ecstatic to let you know all went well! I was a bit cautious on providing an update, as I wanted to make sure he is indeed doing better before celebrating.
On the weekend leading to the big day I bought him his favorite food - these tiny fish that in my country are generally eaten whole, fried(anchovies?) that he loves to gobble up raw. I only ever give those as a treat maybe a few times a year since they're not exactly healthy for cats, but I made an exception since, you know, things could've gone terribly bad.
The operation went great, vet said there were no complications. I got him home in the afternoon of and he slept it off until midnight, when he started asking for food! He's been eating like he's trying to make up for the weight loss he suffered. He's also been more alert these days, started following me around again and begging for food and it looks like he's sleeping better, too.
He would generally just lay awake on his cat bed all day, looking unhappy, now he's sleeping soundly between meals. The only discomfort he has is related to the stitches on his gums, but they should fall off in a few weeks. Honestly, it's like they didn't remove only his teeth, but also a chipped off a few years!
I'd also like to thank all of you that called me out on using him as an excuse. You're right, I was using him as an excuse. No has never been a full sentence for me, so I am now actively looking into finding a good therapist. I still stand by my decision of not helping my sister out though, and many numbers and social media accounts have been blocked.
I'm thinking about leaving this account active and add a final update in a week, or a month or a year or whenever it's time to bid Tom farewell. But for now, he seems happy, so I've no doubt I made the right choice.
As for the people calling out our vet for being unethical...let's agree to disagree. Indeed, there are bad vets out there. As with all professions, a lot of individuals have chosen veterinary medicine in order to make money, with zero regards for their patients or their owners. There are vets who will drag your animal through unnecessary treatments or investigation just to blow up your bill. That is true.
However, this is no reason to doubt each and every recommendation or treatment suggestion vets make. If something your vet says or does sends red flags, by all means, seek a second opinion. Ask them what meds they used and why, don't be afraid to ask questions.
Educate yourselves, look up the issue online, check the practice's reviews, look if there are any fb groups dedicated to that particular ailment and ask for recommendations.
But don't outright refuse to follow your vet's recommendation just out of fear of it being a cash grab. Your pet only has you to advocate for their well-being, and not following through with the treatment may very well cost them their lives.
I work in vet med and we know the risks of surgery, especially a cat of Tom’s age. We put senior cats under regularly for dentals because the benefit of a clean and healthy mouth without painful, rotting teeth outweigh the anesthetic risks. And it’s clear from the way Tom is recovering!
I'm glad Tom is doing so well! Fingers crossed that his recovery continues well and that he enjoys his old age for however long you're blessed to have him.
Thank you for caring so much for Tom. I have a geriatric cat as well and some people don’t understand the level of love and bonding created when having a cat you shared your life with for 15+ years. My angel is my best friend in the whole world and I don’t know what I would do without her.
But I can tell you that forking over money for her health will take precedence over just about anything else. Here’s to many more years with Tom!