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family issues - ~*Crushed*Glass*~
crushedglass
crushedglass
family issues
Ugh. I'm just emotionally drained, and sad, and frustrated.

The conflict between Barb and my grandma has just gotten to the point where there are no words exchanged between the two of them and they each have resolvable issues to bring to the table but without talking about anything nothing gets solved.

My grandma has cats. Some of them are kinda sickly. They jump on the counter and on the table and this bothers Barb. Grosses her out because they tend to get kitty litter stuck to them and then that litter gets deposited on the kitchen surfaces. Some of them are vomity sometimes. My grandma doesn't always see this. They dig the woodwork and my grandma doesn't always stop them and in some places it's down to the drywall. It'll require some real work when it comes time to fix it.

Barb spends a long time each day cleaning up after them. She no longer wants to do this. The only solution she has come to is to put them all outside all the time. Not a good idea for several reasons. They've never lived that way and most of them are old, it's still really cold outside, it will absolutely crush my grandma, who loves them like her babies.

She is angry at Barb for an incident that happened a while back and Barb yelled at her (which was probably not the wrong thing to do, but at the same time, I'm sure it wasn't out of nowhere) and, in my grandma's interpretation, disrespected her, looked at her with utter contempt, and like she was the scum of the earth.

She thinks that Barb hates her and that she's being the way she's being to punish her and she has no idea what she did to make Barb feel the way she feels.

Barb thinks my grandma hates her and that she's being the way she's being to punish her and has no idea what she did to make my grandma feels the way she feels.

They are literally saying almost the exact same words to me about each other.


Living in such close quarters and having some pretty serious conflicts going on... they really need to get to a point where they're on speaking terms. But this can only come if my grandma is willing to talk to Barb. And she's not. Barb is. So there's that, at least.


I don't know what to do. I am going to help with the cleaning. I'm going to try to find a different home for one of the kitties, since she would be very adoptable.

The one that Barb has some of the most problem with is Billy. Who is so sweet and so pitiful. He's getting kinda old. And he has long hair which has totally matted. He is missing most of his teeth and I think he finds it hard to eat. He's incredibly bony and thin. And he gets kitty litter stuck to him and tracks it around the house. But he is just the sweetest most gentle, darling cat. I love him. And it makes me sad that he's not doing well. He doesn't seem unhappy, or like he feels badly. But I wonder if he does. You can see so obviously how much he adores my grandma. He looks up at her like there is just no one else in the world. Even if he were not part of this current conflict, I'd be worried about him. And wondering if there's anything to be done for him. He's already had a lot done in the past. Surgeries to remove a lot of the teeth. And my grandma is concerned about money.

Ugh. I just don't know what the right answer is. Her animal care is almost her whole life. Between the cats, the deer, the birds, the turkeys, the dogs, and in the warmer weather, the raccoons... They are all about as important to someone as something can possibly be.

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hellomokona From: hellomokona Date: March 31st, 2011 12:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is terrible! I've seen your brief tweets, but obviously 140 characters can't really express what's going on. I'm sorry :(

It's not right for you to be put in the middle of this, but I guess without talking to each other, they have no where else to turn. Is Barb living with your grandma?

That last part had me tearing up. I understand where Barb is coming from, but having gma give all that up wouldn't be right. :(

Have Barb watch one of those animal horder shows, then she will realise it's not so bad! Kidding, kidding... But I think you're on the right track, try to get them to meet halfway, somehow. Sit them both in the room and have an intervention ;) That's just ridiculous for them to keep acting like that. Not to mention so much stress for everyone. But you're so correct, nothing is going to get resolved unless they talk to each other. Otherwise this will just keep repeating itself for every little thing.

Would anyone be able to use clippers on Billy to shave him down? That might make him less maintenance, but obviously he can't be outdoors.

How many cats does she have? I wouldn't dare put them outdoors either... Would she be happy if they just stayed off the counter or is that just the tip of the iceberg? It takes work, but cats can be trained to stay off the counters, it takes some work, but it can be done. Even sheets of cardboard with packing tape sticky side up set on the conter can help. Are there any windowsills or large windows away from the kitchen? Put a bunch of birdfeeders/suet blocks or birdseed outside that window. Sorry... I went off on a tangent there.
When I worked at the cat vet, people would want to euthanize their cats for the stupidest reasons. NOT that Barb is suggesting that at all, but I just mean I would hate for the solution to be get rid of them all or put them all outside, when maybe other tactics could be used for Barb AND your Grandma (and the cats and you) to be happy.
crushedglass From: crushedglass Date: April 1st, 2011 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)
It's such a complicated situation. Not helped by both of them being impossible. And stubborn.

Barb isn't willing to budge. Neither is my grandma. She loves her cats. And so do I. And I don't think it would be the right thing to do. They're not strictly indoor cats, but never ever have they been forced to be outside. When they want in, they're in. And at night, they're definitely in.

Barb has issues with all of the cat hair in the house, in addition to the litter/table/counters/vomit problems.

But it feels like she's just not seeing that she's not the only one who should be considered. It's unfair to to that to my grandma. It might be Barb's house, but it's my grandma's HOME, and has been for 16 years. And all of a sudden, she's not in control of most parts of her life. With barb and the house, and her not having a car, and her health making it hard for her to go out all winter because she can't breathe well in the cold... She feels helpless and frustrated, and depressed. And I get that. And I want to help ease that. I feel so bad for her! And the whole situation. :(
crushedglass From: crushedglass Date: April 1st, 2011 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh and to answer your other questions, she has 7 cats, though the one is so wild with everyone but her, he's outside or hiding most of the time.

I've got a vet appointment for Billy on monday and I don't know what they'll tell me. He's so terribly thin! I'm going to see what they'll tell me and what there is to be done with him. My grandma is mad about that because of the money. But I love Billy! I remember when he was born, in a box in her bedroom. He's sweet and a little special. He has a gimpy deformed foot.
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