VeggieBoards banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a slight problem.<br>
One of my very good friends has 5 cats, 2 rabbits and a dog.<br>
Every year for Christmas and boxing day her and her husband go and stay at her mothers house, in a different town, and ask me to look after their pets. They ask me to do this for Christmas night and boxing day morning.<br>
Every year without fail they have stayed an extra day or two, and have let me know by ringing me and asking if it's okay for me to carry on looking after their pets. They do take the dog with them, but it's still a huge pain in the arse for me to go there twice a day, especially when I don't have transport.<br><br>
She is now heavily pregnant, and her husband has had to go away for 2 weeks to do some course for the TA, leaving her alone and unable to change the cat litter, a because she is too big to bend over, and b, pregnant women aren't advised to touch dirty cat litter.<br><br>
I said I would be able to go over every night after my day to change the litter, but she would have to find someone else to do the mornings as I am not good at getting up anyway and barely make it to my college, work and placement on time.<br><br>
She has now rang me up to say that she is going to her mum's over night and could I now please look after the pets for tonight and tomorrow morning. I have agreed because I want her to be looked after and to have company, but I am totally expecting her to stay there for a few days now.<br><br>
I am really annoyed about this because I just feel like my good nature is being abused. Also I only get one day in the week where I don't have anything to do apart from coursework, so I have a lovely long lie in. That is tomorrow, guess it will be another week before I have a fully free day <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":("><br><br>
Any advice would be very welcome. Am I being unreasonable, or is she, and if so what should I say to her?<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,658 Posts
It does sound like a bit of an imposition to me! What would they do if you couldn't do it, would they easily be able to find someone else to help them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I think they should be at least reimbursing you for transportation and at little extra would be nice. Ya, that is a big favor to ask. People have to expect this stuff when they get animals, specially so many.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,852 Posts
I'd say user. I think you need to set limits. If you tell her I can only come help you out as a friend in the evening, then stick to it. Tell her if she wants to go stay overnight with her mom then she needs to find someone else to come over in the morning. That you absolutely can't do it. I think it's pretty rude of her to assume that you can watch them so much or take over in their care so often. It also says to me that they seem to think you have nothing better to do than take care of their animals. If her husband is gone for work and she can't clean out the litter because she's pregnant then I think at that point they should be paying someone to come do it, not impositioning a friend.<br><br>
I'm the type of person that is always willing to do things for friends, so in the past I've had friends that took advantage of that. I've learned over the last couple of years that I have to set my own boundaries and <i>be firm about it</i>.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Almeria</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2853721"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I'd say user. I think you need to set limits. If you tell her I can only come help you out as a friend in the evening, then stick to it. Tell her if she wants to go stay overnight with her mom then she needs to find someone else to come over in the morning. That you absolutely can't do it. I think it's pretty rude of her to assume that you can watch them so much or take over in their care so often. It also says to me that they seem to think you have nothing better to do than take care of their animals. If her husband is gone for work and she can't clean out the litter because she's pregnant then I think at that point they should be paying someone to come do it, not impositioning a friend.<br><br>
I'm the type of person that is always willing to do things for friends, so in the past I've had friends that took advantage of that. I've learned over the last couple of years that I have to set my own boundaries and <i>be firm about it</i>.</div>
</div>
<br>
I agree with all of this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Almeria</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2853721"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I'd say user. I think you need to set limits. If you tell her I can only come help you out as a friend in the evening, then stick to it. Tell her if she wants to go stay overnight with her mom then she needs to find someone else to come over in the morning. That you absolutely can't do it. I think it's pretty rude of her to assume that you can watch them so much or take over in their care so often. It also says to me that they seem to think you have nothing better to do than take care of their animals. If her husband is gone for work and she can't clean out the litter because she's pregnant then I think at that point they should be paying someone to come do it, not impositioning a friend.<br><br>
I'm the type of person that is always willing to do things for friends, so in the past I've had friends that took advantage of that. I've learned over the last couple of years that I have to set my own boundaries and <i>be firm about it</i>.</div>
</div>
<br>
Yeah I totally agree with this, well said <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
I would also say that she is taking advantage of you, but you're letting her. She might not even realise what she's doing, she's just stuck in the habit of relying on you too much.<br><br>
As for what to say to her, I would simply say next time she asks you to help her out when you're not able to (or simply don't want to! you're not oblidged to help your friend all the time!) say "I'm sorry but unfortunatly I can't" or something similar. Don't make up excuses - you have no need to, and it makes it look like you think you're in the wrong (which you're not). Instead be firm and stick to your guns. When you say yes, tell her when it is you can pet-sit untill and stick to it if she asks you to do it longer, reminding her politly that you've already said you couldn't extend the time you're helping her out.<br><br>
I don't think you need to mention anything to her, just start being firm and saying "no" when you want to, and setting clear limits of when you're able to pet-sit untill, and your relationship dynamic should (hopefully!) change natrually. When you start being firmer, she'll need to adjust and realise you're not there to be taken advantage of.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Goodluck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,101 Posts
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Identity_thief</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2853783"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Yeah I totally agree with this, well said <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
I would also say that she is taking advantage of you, but you're letting her. She might not even realise what she's doing, she's just stuck in the habit of relying on you too much.</div>
</div>
<br>
Agreed. You really do teach people how to treat you. Not to say that your friend's behaviour is okay, because I do think she knows you have trouble saying no and she is taking advantage of that. I think it's easy in any sort of relationship including friendship for one person to take the other for granted, without even realizing it. Like the others said, set some boundaries and stick to them. When you say no more often, she should hopefully realize that you do have a life of your own. You could also try making a joke about how you'll want a coffee or some lunch afterwards. I'm a little surprised that she doesn't offer you anything like that, but then again some people are just naturally thoughtless and a little reminder may be all she needs.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,056 Posts
i'd tell her you just can't do it anymore. there are people who do this for money. either she needs to pay the cost or make other arrangements. be prepared because she'll be mad at you, because as it stands now she thinks you owe her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
it's ok to say no. she will find someone else but asks you first because you're always available. so far anyway. if you don't feel comfortable telling her no then make up an appointment or something. or ask them to compensate you.<br>
if she calls you tomorrow that she's staying longer just tell her you can't look after the cat for that long and she'll either have to come back or find someone else. say it nicely. if she's your friend she'll appreciate what you've already done and deal with it. if she gets upset, she's just using you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,743 Posts
I'd probably help, but I would have her double the amount of litterboxes when she's gone, and then you only have to go once per day (assuming they free feed and don't need to be fed twice per day).<br><br>
(also, pregnant women CAN change cat litter. They just need to wear gloves and a dust mask and practice good hygiene to be extra safe. Gardening while pregnant is a risk too, but for some reason people don't seem to get so excited about that).<br><br>
Some of my feeling about it might hinge on how they acquired the pets. Sometimes people bring in strays because there's no other place for them to go, and they kind of realize it's a little too much to take them on, but they do out of kindness. I might think of helping them as kind of helping with their rescues and I'd want to support it. Whereas if someone bought pets from a pet store or breeder or even went out and got 5 cats from the humane society, I'd figure they planned it and knew what they were getting into and I'm not going to bend over backwards too far unless the pets are at risk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,075 Posts
My parents get the neighbour to feed the cat (now 2 cats) when they are away. The neighbours are fine with this arrangement as if they go away my parents will feed their cat. Also, my mother always makes sure to buy them a big box of chocolates, or shortbread or something as a thank you gift.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,658 Posts
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Irizary</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2853832"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
(also, pregnant women CAN change cat litter. They just need to wear gloves and a dust mask and practice good hygiene to be extra safe.</div>
</div>
<br>
I didn't know that.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Freesia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2853873"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My parents get the neighbour to feed the cat (now 2 cats) when they are away.</div>
</div>
<br>
This would make sense to me too as the neighbours are nearby (obviously) and may be able to help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,272 Posts
I usually ask three people at one time to come by to check on the cats when we go out of town. So that way they can speak to each other and figure out a plan to check the cats. However, when we return home I either pay them with a dinner or buy groceries for them or help them when they are gone. Sounds like your friend is using you because it seems they only ask you and not many people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,743 Posts
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Pixie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2853875"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I didn't know that.</div>
</div>
<br>
Read this from the Humane Society.<br><a href="http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/toxoplasmosis.html" target="_blank">http://www.humanesociety.org/animals...plasmosis.html</a><br><br>
It's really overplayed, I think because cats are so disposable in our society, and there seems to be some kind of pleasure with associating danger to the family with pet ownership. You can also get toxoplasmosis from undercooked meat (and contact with soil), but no one talks about pregnant women not having anything to do with preparing meat because of it!<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">since oocysts are transmitted by ingestion, in order to contract toxoplasmosis, a woman would have to make contact with contaminated feces in the litter box and then, without washing her hands, touch her mouth or otherwise transmit the contaminated fecal matter to her digestive system.</div>
</div>
<br>
A pregnant woman can deal with a cat box as long as she practices good hygiene. If the cats are indoor and don't eat raw meat, there's no problem at all with infection. If the box is cleaned daily, there also should be no problem (more detail in article).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,929 Posts
Tell her you wouldn't mind helping her out but remind her that mornings are just not doable for you so she will have to find someone else. Put your foot down, you'll feel great.<br>
It's not your responsibility to make sure you are available to be certain her animals are taken care of, it is hers. If she can't find someone to watch them, or if she can't take them she will have to stay home or get the people to come to visit her. That's the way it works. She should figure that out fairly soon with a kid on the way...<br><br>
I don't think by this instance I would describe her as a "user" per say, I've seen plenty of those and this sounds mild. It sounds more like she is impulsive and takes the situation for granted but you are also not acting on your own best benefit. Speak up or the friendship and your schedule will suffer.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top