Woman Chooses Her Cat’s Health Over Her Sister Who Might Become Homeless, Wonders If She Is A Jerk

Most people would describe their pets as family members, they’ll celebrate their birthdays, include them in family photos, and take care of them when they are sick or injured. But what happens when someone is forced to decide between helping a beloved pet or blood relative?

An internet user shared a dilemma she ended up in after choosing to not help her sister with mortgage payments. Instead, she wanted to keep the money for her sick cat who needed surgery soon. Her decision proved divisive, as her family turned on her, while the internet understood her point of view. Enjoy reading through the lively discussion over family, obligations, and more.

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The bond between a person and a long-time pet can be close to that of a family member

Image credits: TWoldcat

A woman shared the dilemma she ran into when her cat needed surgery and her sister couldn’t pay her mortgage at the same time

It turns out, OP’s sister had run into money problems and came by to ask for help

Image credits: Karolina Grabowska (not the actual photo)

OP questioned her decision, as she got a lot of flack for it from family members

Image credits: Liza Summer (not the actual photo)

Image credits: TWoldcat

Pets might not be blood relatives, but we can often feel like they are still family

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Image credits: Velizar Ivanov (not the actual photo)

Non-pet owners often just don’t understand, as to them it’s an animal, which sort of resembles a toy that needs to be fed. But when pet owners say that their companion is like family, often, the feeling is completely genuine. The loss of a beloved pet can cause levels of sadness similar to those suffered when a direct family member dies. Even worse, the owner of the recently deceased animal often feels shame and even guilt just for feeling bad. Societal norms tell them that it’s not a human, it’s not family, so they shouldn’t feel this way. The silver lining is that the depths of emotion these people experience do at least validate the belief that a pet can be family. Regardless of what her blood relatives said, OP’s money was her own to spend how she wished,

In fact, pets can often be even better for us than blood relatives. Not every family member has your best interests at heart. This story demonstrates the long-term negative effects OP had from her sister being treated as the favorite child. It seems that the argument for “we are your family” only comes up when the party needs something. On the other hand, our pets are walking, breathing lifesavers. Sometimes just as companions, though studies do indicate that pets help mitigate isolation and its negative effects on mental health. And that’s before we get to animals that physically help and protect their owners, life service dogs. It’s a pretty normal emotion to get attached to something or someone that helps and protects you, so pet owners shouldn’t really feel any shame.

Cat ownership has tangible benefits as well

Image credits: Jonas Vincent (not the actual photo)

Cats in particular seem to have mental health benefits for owners. A study of Australian cat owners, comparing them to non-cat owners, found that those with a feline friend tended to score higher on general psychological health and showed a lower level of psychiatric disturbance. Interestingly, children who grow up with the same cat show higher overall happiness and quality of life if they feel attached to the animal. This closely matches with OP’s experience, where she found and adopted her cat, Tom, at an early age. So it’s pretty straightforward to understand why she is willing to invest time and resources into making Tom’s life more enjoyable even into old age. To suddenly abandon a companion of over twenty years for no good reason seems cruel, irrational, and beyond comprehension.

And while we are on the topic of health, there is even some, albeit scattered, evidence that cat ownership can help one’s physical health. Firstly, it helps you exercise your immune system a little more, helping you be protected from viruses and diseases in the long run. One study found that just ten months of cat ownership had a positive correlation with reduced illness and health complaints. Respondents indicated fewer headaches, back pain, and colds. Some believe this could be a result of increased physical activity, even if it’s just bouts of playing and carrying kitty litter. Others point towards the aforementioned mental health benefits and believe that those carry over into the owner’s physical health. And who can forget the positive effects of laughter as your cat does something unbelievably silly and then attempts to pass it off as if they aren’t overwhelmed with shame.

Commenters wanted some more context, so OP answered their questions

Others sided with OP, declaring her NTA, as the sister did have other ways to find money

OP’s cat made it through surgery without complications and she gave some parting thoughts

Image credits: TWoldcat

The post Woman Chooses Her Cat’s Health Over Her Sister Who Might Become Homeless, Wonders If She Is A Jerk first appeared on Bored Panda.

Source: boredpanda.com

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