How Do You Deal With People Who Say "it's Just A Cat, Get Over It"?

Discussion in 'Crossing the Bridge' started by I_Wuv_Kitties, Nov 14, 2017 at 10:33 AM.

  1. I_Wuv_Kitties

    I_Wuv_Kitties Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Apr 26, 2017
    I love kitties. Clearly. My family does not. My mom is deathly allergic and my dad just isn't a fan of them.

    One of my all-time favorite shelter kitties passed away the other day. He was adopted thankfully, and I kept in touch with his new dad, but it still hits me hard since it wasn't even a year after adopting. He was 9 and was a stray his entire life.... I was hoping he would have more time.

    I've been mourning and dealing with the grief for a couple days now. I tried to talk to my mom and dad about it (we've always been close), but their reaction really stunned me. My mom said "it's just a cat, it's not a person." And my dad said "c'mon, don't be dramatic, it's an animal." I wish I could say I haven't gotten this attitude before, but how do you explain to people who just don't understand that a cat isn't just a pet, they're much more than that?
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  2. mightyboosh

    mightyboosh TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jul 19, 2017
    Burnley, UK
    Of course they mean the earth us but some people just don't get it. It's a hard slog to convince them but it happens. Some of the threads mention that conversion so there's always hope. Some attitudes are entrenched and will never change. It's their loss.
    neely, rubysmama and Mamanyt1953 purraised this.
  3. les26

    les26 Sylvester's daddy Alpha Cat

    Nov 19, 2015
    Emmaus, Pennsylvania
    For the most part you will not change them and their attitudes, they are clearly not animal lovers if they can say things like that, don't waste your energy. Our neighbor is like that, they raise Skye terriers but when one passes it's like it is no big deal to them, but that's how they are. We are different, and mourn them as much if not more than a person. A friend of mine who is a psychologist says he mourns animals more when they die than some humans, animals love is unconditional, so he feels the opposite of the "it's just a cat" people.

    However YOU feel is what is important, you will only spin your wheels trying to convince other people unless they do get attached to a pet, then they will understand what you were talking about when it passes.
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  4. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 26, 2017
    Upstate NY
    My parents are the same way, they think pets are replacable. My dad used to make my childhood cats live outside and we would get yelled at if we snuck them in. I don't know if it's a generational thing or not. I just know that I'm still mourning them, 20 years later, so they weren't just cats, they were my babies.
    rubysmama and les26 purraised this.
  5. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

    Oct 16, 2015
    Havelock, North Carolina
    Since there is nothing that you can say that will change their minds, you deal with it by holding close to you the knowledge that you live in a world of "thou," not a world of "it," and that your own life is much deeper and richer than they can ever understand because of that. You will feel more pain than they ever will, but the reverse is also true, you will feel more joy than they can ever comprehend.

    I am so sorry that the shelter kitty you loved has gone on the the rainbow bridge, but filled with joy that he went as the beloved member of a real family. May all shelter kitties (and dogs) someday know that comfort.
    rubysmama, les26 and maggiedemi purraised this.
  6. Antonio65

    Antonio65 TCS Member Super Cat

    Feb 27, 2017
    Orbassano - Italy
    @I_Wuv_Kitties, I'm sorry for your foster kitty. Do you know what happened to him?
    I'm sure that when he passed, he thought of you as well, because you gave him the chance to have a new and better life. He had the warmth of a family because of you.

    As for your parents, my past experiences taught me to avoid speaking about pets loss or illnesses with people who haven't shown and proved their love or interest for animals before.
    It gives nothing but sadness or heartbreak when you get their replies like the ones you had.
    I wouldn't like to get into more personal details, but I don't even talk about my cat with my mother, because I received rough or unwelcome comments before.

    You have us, though, we will never say "it's just a cat", because it never is.
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  7. Loving Mickey

    Loving Mickey TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 13, 2014
    I am truly sorry for your loss of your shelter kitty. You took care of him and helped him find his forever home. He was a part of you and you loved him. You will surely mourn his loss. It is so unfortunate that there are so many people who don't understand what it is to love a pet or know that the pet loves you. They just don't get it , but that is fine. It is their loss, not yours. You will never change someone's thinking, no sense even trying. I don't talk about my kitties with people I know don't share my love of animals. I still cry over every kitty that I have lost , no matter how many years have passed. I usually keep it to myself , though , as most people don't understand. I even know people that don't seem to understand why I still mourn my Mom's passing. She was my Mom! Just remain who you are! You have a caring heart , and I for one think that is terrific!
    RIP Precious Kitty!
    Your life mattered much more than you will ever know!
    You were loved and will be missed by many!
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  8. jamescalifornia

    jamescalifornia TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Apr 1, 2016
    Los Angeles
    ~ Actually I stay away from people who do not understand that some of us love our pets . Whether it be a cat or a horse ! People like us get attached to our little friends .
    Once I met an obnoxiously annoying person . Just casual greetings in the market. He watched me buying cat food and looked at me perplexed and sarcastically asked : " What do they do for you ? " I replied : " What do you do for anyone ? Never mind my cats ! "
    This got rid of him - thankfully .
    Sometimes people are just rude about pets and don't realize it. I feel a bit sorry for them .
    Best wishes to you ... :wave3:
  9. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 12, 2012
    Nebraska, USA
    Now that you know they won't support you, just don't bring it up in their company. It IS a generational thing, animals don't mean much to that generation, many times they will change if they get an animal later in life, but most don't. It is too bad, when you care for someone, you support them when they need you. To dismiss your feelings is a slap in the face. I have actually mourned deeper and longer for the loss of an innocent, loving animal than I have for humans that I have known. Most of my relatives know how I feel about my animal companions, they send cards and call to see how I am doing now and it is appreciated because I know some of them don't feel the same. I stay away from people who don't support my feelings, at least until the initial deep mourning is controlled, i don't need more hurt to add on to what I already have. Tell your parents if they ask why you aren't in touch as much, that you are hurting and if they can't understand and support you you will find it with people who do., it hurts too much to hear the things they say. If you don't tell them they may never realize that they are hurting you, you never know, they may be a little more understanding.
    My heart goes out to you, I know how much it hurts to lose someone you hold dear. You'll be blessed for opening your heart to that little boy and helping him find the home and the love he deserved, he thanks you for that.
  10. Purr-fect

    Purr-fect TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Apr 20, 2017
    I dont bother trying to explain.

    Unless they experience the love, affection, happiness, joy, deep connection, tender moments, wonderful memories (and the bad memories) and eventually the terrible painful loss, I dont think I could explain it to them. And I dont need to. Like others here, I just avoid people who dont understand, and appreciate those who do.
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  11. vyger

    vyger TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jun 24, 2017
    Northeast Montana
    This is one of those things that you could get very philosophical about. It would be easy to just say that people fall into ranges of caring or affection with psychopaths who love nothing at one end to people who can't even handle stepping on bugs on the other extreme. But it's not completely that way. There are other factors that enter into things. Some people can only handle so much pain and choose to block things out so they don't get bothered by tragedies. When a nursing home catches fire and burns up everyone inside some will just say, well they were old and at the end of their lives anyway. They don't want to think about it or make it their own pain. Something that a good writer or a good journalist learns to do is to make people feel like it's their own story, they get them emotionally involved because then they can get people to feel something. Unfortunately this overwhelms some people and burns them out. They get an emotional overload so they try not to care about every butterfly that dies or ever kitten that gets stepped on. They can only handle so much. Some people have a much greater capacity for emotions. We often call these big hearted people because they appear to have a much greater capacity for loving and feeling even when it hearts them greatly. They are not afraid of the pain and so they are not afraid to love. If you are a big hearted person don't be afraid of it, the world needs many more of you. Yes you will feel more pain than others do sometimes but that is because you are not afraid of loving something as small as a kitten, or a butterfly. In the end your life will be much richer than others because you will have a much greater understanding of what it means to be a person. In one of the shortest scriptures in the Bible it simply says "God is love".
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  12. Purr-fect

    Purr-fect TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Apr 20, 2017
    How can you adequately explain to a non cat lover, the picture below? It has to be experienced. IMG_0893.JPG
    mightyboosh purraised this.
  13. rubysmama

    rubysmama TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 25, 2013
    I don't think you can. I think some people just have an abundance of empathy and can feel pain and sorrow for humans and animals alike, and there is no way to explain it or make someone who doesn't get it, understand. I've always been "big-hearted" and cry at both happy and sad things, regardless if it's a human or animal involved. Needless to say, just reading this thread has made me teary. :bawling:

    Condolences on the loss of your dear shelter kitty. Nine years old is way to young to die, but at least he got to have a home and feel the love from his "new dad" for those few short months. RIP sweet kitty. :angel3:
    Mamanyt1953 purraised this.
  14. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 29, 2014
    There are vets who don't understand either. I had a friend who was a freshly minted DVM at the time. When I told her my cat was ill and at the vet hospital being treated, she told me, "You take that damn cat to the vet too much". That hurt :sniffle: especially coming from a person who was a friend and a vet herself. What hurt even more and ended our friendship was her response when my cat died not long afterwards. Her response was complete silence. I later heard from a mutual friend that she had said it was just a damn cat and to get over it. It makes me wonder if she says similar things to her own grieving clients.

    Don't let the lack of response or compassion from others bother you :grouphug: Some people just don't understand and may never will. You don't need to explain your feelings to anyone. There are pet grief support web sites and hotlines and even in person groups if you need a little support.

    Pet Loss Support Hotline: Support Group Links
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  15. boney girl dad

    boney girl dad TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Mar 13, 2016
    First of all, ignore them and expect nothing from them. They are ignorant and have no understanding.
    Secondly, pity them. Feel sorry for them that they have never had this kind of a relationship and this kind of real love, companionship and spiritual connection. I do not believe it is a generational thing. It is a personal capacity issue. It is most unfortunate that these folks are our relatives and friends. However we shouldn't fault them because they don't have the ability to love as we and our pets do. Surround yourself with folks who have this understanding and compassion. We are many.
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  16. I_Wuv_Kitties

    I_Wuv_Kitties Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Apr 26, 2017
    I mean i can kind of understand why. My mom is allergic and neither of them had a cat growing up. Plus i used to dislike cats up until a couple years ago because the cats i had met were aloof and standoffish. But when i started trying to understand cats and cat behavior i realized just how amazing they can be.
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  17. neely

    neely TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 22, 2005
    Great Lakes
    My husband says this all the time, i.e. he mourns our pets who have gone to the Bridge more than some people.

    In my personal experience, I found that many people including close friends/relatives felt badly when our dog died but didn't blink an eye when any of our cats passed away. This lack of compassion is unacceptable and deeply hurts so I have to speak up and say something. Even if they don't understand I'd like to think at least one person will think twice the next time. Unlike others have expressed, I feel you should try to explain to your parents that this is part of who you are and what you feel, therefore, they should respect your feelings even if they don't agree. Obviously you are a very charitable and warmhearted person. I commend your determination and perseverance at the shelter. :hugs: My sincere sympathies for the loss of one of your favorite shelter kitties. :angel:
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017 at 7:20 AM
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  18. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

    Oct 16, 2015
    Havelock, North Carolina
    I hear this all the time, and explain when I do that cats are not so much aloof and standoffish as they are cautious and slow to love or trust. But once they are sure of you, and that love and trust is given, OH, you have a friend indeed!
  19. gareth

    gareth TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Dec 19, 2003
    I feel pity for those people.

    Imagine how less rich and Wonderous life would be if you went through it without knowing the intensity of the bond you can share with an animal. How sad for them that they will never experience the joy of having your cat looking at you with love and knowing you earned their trust. The agonies of losing our cats is outweighed by the love of knowing them.

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