Wedding Woes

Tom sucks, but can you talk to Sara about a compromise?

Dear Prudence,

I live in an apartment with a roommate, Sara, and my cat, Ravioli. We’ve all lived together for two and a half years without any issues. But Sara’s boyfriend of six months, Tom, is being a jerk to my cat, and I’m sick of it.

Tom dislikes cats (which is fine) but he’s extremely vocal about it, which gets tiresome for me. Tom sees some hair on the couch? “F***in’ cat.” Hears Ravioli meow as I open his wet food? “Oh my God, shut up.” Sees him walk toward his (frequently cleaned) litter box? “Ugh, disgusting.” He doesn’t have allergies, and it’s not a cleanliness thing because he likes dogs fine. It’s incredibly annoying. I occasionally respond with something like “Yes, Tom, the cat that lives here is being a cat, just like always,” but he takes that as an invitation to complain more.

Ravioli is sweet and friendly and likes to be around people. He likes to sit in laps, but if you tell him “down” (I clicker trained him!) or nudge him off you or have someone else call him over, he’ll leave right away. But Tom objects to having the cat near him at all in common areas—he wants to make him go away when he’s just curled up on the other side of the couch, or on a kitchen chair, or next to the TV. When I’m around, I say to leave him alone because he’s not bothering anyone. But I assume when I’m out, Tom is ousting him from his favorite lounge spots for no reason.

Last week, Tom pushed Ravioli out of a spot on the couch that he wanted, but Rav returned when he went to the kitchen. Instead of just moving him again, Tom splashed him with water from his glass. I said, “What the hell is wrong with you? Don’t ever do that again!” and Tom was defensive. Sara backed me up about it not being OK. But when I talked to her later and expressed my frustration with how Tom acts toward my cat in general, she said the comments and making him move weren’t a big deal because they don’t bother Ravioli. They’ve only hung out at his place instead of ours since it happened, which I appreciate, but Sara has mentioned him starting to come over again. I feel like I’m going to flip out on him if he so much as speaks to my cat again let alone touches him.

Keeping Rav in my room while Tom’s over seems unfair, because he’s over quite a bit. Why should he have to be cooped up because someone who doesn’t pay rent doesn’t want to look at him? I’d also have to move his food and the litter box into my bedroom. How do I proceed? The lease is up in September and I’ll move if I need to, but I’d rather not, and I still need ideas for how to handle things until then.

—Ravioli’s Human

Re: Tom sucks, but can you talk to Sara about a compromise?

  • Options
    Talk to Sara about Tom's behavior and how you want Ravioli treated.  Tell her what you do but also say that you and Ravioli were there before Tom and won't be treated or disrespected in your place when Tom - and not the cat - is the guest.

  • Options
    Ravioli is an excellent cat name. 

    This needs to be addressed with Sara. Explain that you feel Tom’s behavior is inappropriate and is making you feel uncomfortable in your own apartment. Tell her what you want to see happen (him stop making comments about her, definitely stop moving her or throwing water on her). If she can’t or won’t get him to stop tell her you’re moving out when the lease is up, if not sooner. 
  • Options
    At this point, I think LW should plan to no longer live with Sara if she's going to continue to date Tom because LW can't trust Tom around Ravioli.   Tom is a jerk and I foresee him becoming a bigger asshole if LW pushes back.  I'd tell Sara that that it's not a good idea for Tom to be around Ravioli.  If she makes the line in the sand that he's coming over, I'd consider a temp set up of a litterbox in my room and tell Sara Ravioli needs to be in there if I'm not around and Tom is. 

    (This is cracking me up because these are DH's and my names...exactly. Well neither of us is named Ravioli...LOL) 
  • Options
    Geez, what is with Tom's cat-hate?  Ravioli might be a cat and not a person, but he lives there.  Not Tom.

    And some dogs will steal your spot in ten seconds also.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Options
    I wouldn’t trust Tom around Ravioli. I also have a lot of distrust for men who are so outwardly vocal about “hating cats.” LW should plan on moving out because I don’t think continuing this is sustainable and I bet it gets worse if they speak up. I also have questions about whether or not the lease even allows Tom to be over that much. 

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