Friend Abandons Cat, Animal-Lover Abandons Friend
Dear Amy: Until recently I was close friends with a co-worker, until she told me (an animal lover) that she had moved and had abandoned her cat.
I’ve ceased speaking to her, despite her attempts to regain our friendship.
Should I give her another chance?
– Unashamed Cat Owner
Dear Unashamed: I agree that this is an outrageous and upsetting thing to learn about someone. I can understand why this knowledge has interfered with your friendship.
However, in a very loose analogy, you are doing something similar to what this friend has done. You are exiting without offering a reason, explanation or apology.
You have an opportunity to do some advocacy here, if you would be willing to communicate. You should tell this friend, “The reason I’m so chilly toward you is because I am frankly stunned that you would have abandoned an animal.”
You don’t mention if this person surrendered her cat to a shelter or left it by the side of the road (there is a difference). In my home county, our no-kill shelter will take in surrendered animals, no questions asked. And then lucky people (like me) can adopt them into good homes.
Explain your reasoning to this person, and – if this is a deal-breaker for you (it obviously is) – then tell her so.
People who abandon animals (or people) need to understand that this affects other relationships. On a deep level, a friend would wonder: If it is so easy for you to abandon a family member, what’s to prevent you from abandoning me?
In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers.