Reader wonders if parental jealousy is normal
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.
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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?