Monday, June 20, 2011

Old Cat

On March 22, 2011 NMIL reared her ugly head. She called our house phone, her voice sounding all fake sad, with the following message:

"Um long pause hi [DH's childhood nickname]. Another long pause. I just thought you'd like to know sigh that pause Old Cat just died. I found her on the couch just now and she's gone. Another drawn out pause. (Hub's going, "Huh?? Why is she crying? She didn't even like that cat!!!") "I'm really upset, you know, she was just lying there. Pause. Well, she came from (home town) and she died in (home town), so I guess she found her way home after all. So, you can call or not call, whatever you want. More sighs and pathetic pauses. So that's all. I hope everyone is good there. Okay. Voice tapering out into a whisper. I love you. Bye.

The thing is, I do really feel badly about his cat if the news was true, and I told him so. At one time in the cat's long life, she had belonged to DH and he did have some fond memories of her. I know first hand that it is hard to lose a pet, even one that you haven't seen for a long time. Sadly enough, pets can be better friends than people. They truly are only capable of loving unconditionally - an ability some human beings do not possess. After giving Old Cat a moment of silence (in which I thought, "Well at least she's in a better place now") we moved on to the more serious matter at hand: NMIL's manipulation of a legitimate situation as a power play, and her continued acts of aggression, in general.

First of all, I believe that DH's feeling that his NM was being disingenuous was not inaccurate. She had tried to pawn Old Cat off on us on several occasions because she was not attached to the animal and was growing tired of it's senility. On all of those occasions when she tried to get DH to take his aging cat, it was my feeling that NMIL didn't care how cruel she was being - a stressful move such as she was suggesting at that point in the cat's life could have killed it. I told DH that I had no problem taking Old Cat, if he really wanted her, but that it was my feeling that it would be unfair to us (we had a dog and a cat already, as well as young babies and a new house to take care of) and Old Cat if we did. DH agreed and she stayed with NMIL until her "supposed" death.

That's another issue entirely: Who even knows if Old Cat's death actually happened? How fucked up is it that we can't even trust NMIL enough to know that she was telling the truth about the death of DH's childhood pet?

Regardless of the truth, it was clear that her phone call was one pitifully desperate call for attention.

NMIL wasn't even grasping at straws, she was grasping at imaginary ones. How ridiculously sad and inappropriate to call her son because Old Cat just passed away. It was merely a ploy, an underhanded scheme. She left it up to DH to decide if he should call back, so that if he didn't, she could bad mouth him some more: "Oh, my son hates me so much, he couldn't even call me back when HIS CAT died!" and "I just wanted him to call so we could reminisce together about all the great times we shared with Old Cat!" and "What a cold-hearted bastard, to not console me over this great and terrible loss!"

It was all me-me-me, for this bitch, and how-can-I-use-this-situation-to-my-advantage? I firmly believe, that not only did she not care that the cat had died, but she didn't care that DH might have been upset by the news. Instead, she was banking on his "weak moment of sadness" to be enough that he would call her back and she could work her old familiar manipulative magic.

DH didn't call her back. We had our moment of silence for Old Cat, since that was all we could do for her anymore, and we moved on.


  1. Sorry for the loss of Old Cat.

  2. Thank you, Judy.

    The death of a pet is not to be taken lightly.

    It is sad that NMIL used it as a means to manipulate and peddle her pond-scum.

  3. Posted a big long comment before but blogger lost it! If it turns up feel free to toss this one.

    Phoney! Phoney! Phoney! There isn’t a single situation these Ns won’t use for their own purposes. The old bitch was probably quite happy to have the poor cat die so she didn’t have to waste anymore of her “valuable” time caring for it.

    My NM even went so far as to pull this stunt when my DH died. In private she reviled him both before and after his death, but in public we saw sighs, sad pauses and crocodile tears over her lost SIL. She STILL projects the perfect portrait of a darling little old lady supporting her widowed daughter. Of course, she neglects to mention, that as he lay dying, she said, “I don’t give a shit about him.” and didn’t come down to offer “comfort” for over 2 months after his death.

    Not being able to simply say NO without explanation, justification, excuses, etc. is one of the hallmarks of an abusive relationship. Saying NO and seeing/hearing the reaction is actually quite liberating.

    At Friday’s AA meeting, a woman who loves to stir the pot approached me and without so much as a “Hello” and said, “Where’s DD?” I replied, “Not here.” The look on her face was priceless!

    I’m sorry about the cat but I’m glad you guys didn’t fall for the “mind-fuck”!

  4. Mulderfan, I'm sorry your first comment was lost to cyberspace! If it comes back from the void, I'll be sure to post it. I believe you might have commented about your most recent moment of saying "no" (ie not engaging with Ms. Pot Stirrer) on a different post of mine...could it be the comment you are thinking of was that one? Either way, thanks for taking the time to re-comment!

    Every time I hear about how your parents treated your late husband, it makes me feel so righteously angry for him (and you!) Sigh. Big sigh. These people are as close to evil as they come.

  5. Yeah, after the lost comment I decided to type them elsewhere then copy and paste. Not sure how the bit about the AA bitch got muddled in there. Chalk it up to me being a befuddled senior citizen!

    I blame myself on the DH thing because for years I allowed it. Now that he is gone I have told them they are not to speak of him in my presence. Oddly, they've honoured that boundary.

  6. Mulderfan, you're so much younger in heart and in spirit than so many people I know who are several years your junior. You have more heart than the people of which I speak, which makes you younger in my book.

    I can see why you'd feel guilt for allowing your DH to be treated the way he was. I also believe that he loved you and that he made a choice to stay with you in those dark times because he loved unconditionally. I'm glad that, if not while he was living, you are standing up for him now. You are fighting for his honor, even in death.

  7. In the last few years of his life, I "excused" my DH from attending family gatherings. He often came anyway because he wanted to be there to "protect" me.

    After DH died, my DD started the "I want to be there to protect you" thing but I explained that it was not her responsibility. My NPs always disregarded DD's near fatal brush with anorexia and continued to comment on her eating habits and weight. They were told in plain language that this was dangerous and off-limits but persisted, so I didn't want her exposed to their BS.

    DD has chosen not to see them for the last 18 months. They told GC I poisoned her against them but I doubt they needed my help with that!

  8. Old Cat became a real sour-puss toward the end of her life. Were she human, I believe she'd be a crotchety old woman swinging at local kids with her cane that run past the front of her house.

  9. ^ LSV? I think Old Cat likely picked up a "Flea Infestation" secondary to exposure to all the Ns in her "residence" ;)

    1. Exactly. I felt bad for that poor cat, having to live with that woman.