Dear Abby: Cat rescue leads to tension between neighbors

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, May 19, 2021

DEAR ABBY: I am a lover of and rescuer of cats (and dogs). I rescued a beautiful and loving cat with horrible wounds on his neck. I got him neutered, his wounds cleaned and sewn up, and became attached to him. I had asked my elderly neighbor if she wanted him. She said she’d think about it. She visited him at my house as his wounds healed, and a few months later she took the cat.

When I visited her a few months after that, I saw she was feeding him so many treats that he was (I’m not exaggerating) morbidly obese. When I told her so, she got insulted. She didn’t believe me so she took the cat for a checkup at the local veterinarian.

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The vet told her the same thing in no uncertain terms, and to feed the cat no treats and a certain low-fat dry cat food. With my help she ordered the food and I measured it into bags to make it easier for her, as she gets a bit confused.

I weigh the cat every Monday and he has lost a bit of weight already. Slowly is the best way. But she’s not pleasant to work with and is fighting me all the way. I’m a patient person and do my best, but sometimes it’s hard not to lose my temper. Any suggestions? — CARES ABOUT FUR BABIES

DEAR CARES: Unfortunately, we don’t always get to know people until we see them in action, as you are now doing with this neighbor. For that cat’s sake, hang onto your temper and continue to help her and her fur baby. If she’s becoming increasingly confused, it is important that someone not only keep an eye on the feline in that household, but also her — to ensure that she is able to take care of herself.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I divorced five years ago. We have four grown children. He wanted to sell the house, but I ended up buying him out because two of our kids were still living at home.

Fast-forward to now: We are expecting our third grandkid. Since the divorce, he doesn’t want to co-parent with me. He keeps saying we are no longer a family. The holidays and main events are now celebrated separately. I am increasingly sad about this. He refuses to be civil with me. He’s a racist, and I happen to have a boyfriend of a different race living with me now.

His attitude is affecting our children, especially the one still living with me. I want to be able to share the joy of our new grandkids and the successes of our children, and the dilemmas as well, but I can’t. Should I confront him? Or should I just consider him “dead”? — SOMEONE’S MISSING IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR SOMEONE’S MISSING: I seriously doubt that “confronting” your ex-husband will work out well. You are a loving, enthusiastic parent and you do not need your ex’s negative attitude putting a damper on your happiness.

Continue hosting these celebratory events, and extend invites to your ex if you wish. However, because of his racism, do not expect him to show up. That’s a good thing, all things considered. Continue to dwell on the positive, and you and your children will all be happier.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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