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Dear Harriette by Harriette Cole

Mon won’t come into house if cats there

DEAR HARRIETTE: My kids love animals, and after watching “Black Panther,” I became interested in the history of cats in Africa. I thought it was interesting that they were regarded as sacred creatures because they kept pests out of homes. With us living near a wooded area, it is always a task to keep pests from invading our patio and feeding on my plants, so I decided to face my lifelong fear of cats and adopt one. It’s been about a year now; the cat has been no trouble, not to mention the free pest control and mental benefit for me in facing my fear. The only problem is that my mother will not come inside our home anymore because she views cats as evil. Should I get rid of the cat? — Recovering Scaredy-Cat

DEAR RECOVERING SCAREDY-CAT: What a creative way to come to love cats! I’m glad your experience and research led you to a good relationship with felines. I do understand that cats can be intimidating to some people because they are such independent and sensitive creatures.

What you need now is a combination of compassion for your mother and one more high dose of creativity. No, you should not get rid of your cat for your mother. What you can do potentially is to put your cat in a separate room or crate while your mother is there, so that the two of them do not need to interact. If you choose the closed-in option, introduce your cat to it well in advance of your mother’s arrival so that it doesn’t look at it as a punishment, but more as a cozy place for a nap.

Another option might be to ask a neighbor to cat-sit when your mother visits. This works if they have an established rapport so that the cat feels safe.

DEAR HARRIETTE : My best friend and I fell out with each other because there have been numerous situations where I found out she was speaking negatively about me to our mutual acquaintances. I decided to end the friendship because I just don’t believe I can trust her anymore. During our friendship, she formed a relationship with my kids, and now that we don’t speak anymore, she still wants to see them. She’s called my mother to try to see them and has even showed up to my home unannounced. She thinks the demise of our friendship shouldn’t mean she can’t see my kids, but I disagree. What

do you think? — Ex-BFF DEAR EX-BFF: There are

times when I stand up for the rights of the rejected friend. This is not one of them. You severed that relationship because your friend was bad-mouthing
you. She crossed a line that automatically means that she
is cut off from your children. What if she decides to bad- mouth you to them? Further, why in the world would she think that she should be able
to interact with them after being disrespectful to you?

I believe you need to have a talk with your ex-BFF to find out what’s going on in her head. Ask her why she thinks you should allow her to engage in any way with your children after the things she has said about you. Have her explain herself. Press her to come clean about why she said what she did,
why she thought it was OK to break your trust and why you should give her access to your children. Hear her out, then
be direct and clear with your reaction to whatever she says.

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