Having a pet seems so easy when you’re young because the adults in your household take care of almost everything. Family pets are like the extended children of your parents or kids of your older siblings. Cats and dogs might be family pets, but true custody belongs to the person that can provide for their needs. A reliable pet parent must have sufficient money to afford food, vet care, and other essentials. They should also be able to provide a safe and comfortable household — not just keep their pet locked up in a bedroom or a cage. Pets deserve to be taken care of. More importantly, animals are not for show, especially on social media. Being realistic and practical are important qualities of a pet parent.
For this reason, a person must weigh the pros and cons before adopting a pet. You should not focus on what the animal can offer but on what you can offer them. It’s best to assess your finances, lifestyle, schedule, and living arrangement before fighting for pet custody. That’s what LostBeat4438 and her boyfriend have been telling a seventeen-year-old girl. The boyfriend’s younger sister was adamant about keeping the family cat despite her lack of sources. OP was willing to carry the responsibility with her boyfriend since they are both experienced cat parents. She has lived with their family, along with her cat, Apollo. Her boyfriend also has a cat named Marley and a family cat named Presley. All of them have bonded, especially Apollo and Presley.
“My boyfriend’s sister (17F) claims Presley is hers. He was a family choice cat, not one person in the family has sole ownership of him. When something besides petting the cat needs to be done, he becomes ‘[BF]’s Cat.’ She locks the cat out of the room, and so he spends about 90% of his time in our room. She only interacts with him when she wants to send a video of him to her friends to show off ‘Her Cat,'” OP wrote. The decision was made when she and her boyfriend decided to move out. They planned on taking Presley with them, mainly because of his bond with Apollo. The couple did not want to separate the best buds, and they have been covering Presley’s needs for a year.
Although he’s a family cat, the couple pretty much did all the parenting. It was a justifiable reason, but the younger sister rejected it. She wanted the cat for herself and even laid out plans that were far from sustainable. “Sister is throwing a fit, saying it’s her emotional support cat, saying that she’s going to be taking him to college out of state and going to be keeping him locked in her room when she goes. We asked how she’d pay for his food, his vet visits, anything involving him, and she said she’d figure it out when she got there,” LostBeat4438 explained. She and her boyfriend did not want to argue with her, so they offered her alternatives. They suggested that the younger sister could visit Presley, but she won’t accept it.
Her brother even has more claims, especially when the cat’s microchip was in his name. The family approved the idea, but it was only the younger sister who was adamant to fight for custody. It might be saddening to separate ways with a cat she’s attached to, but she has to face reality. OP and her boyfriend are much more capable of giving Presley the life he needs until old age. Aside from the boyfriend’s parents, Redditors also supported their decision in the comment section. “NTA. You have been caring for the cat, and she doesn’t seem to have the maturity to take care of kitty. Plus the family is OK with it, including the parents, so this is not an issue,” DontAskMeChit wrote. Surely, Presley would also be lonely if his best bud Apollo moves out.
“NTA – please take the cat. His sister is the type of person who should never own a pet but somehow always does. She doesn’t see it as a thinking, feeling being, but as a prop, a toy, or a crutch,” InterabangSmoose commented. To which OP replied, “There’s two dogs in the house as well, and I didn’t even realize one of them was hers until a couple months ago. Thinking on it, I don’t think I’ve seen her feed it more than 6 times since I’ve moved in. Someone else always does. I wish you weren’t right, but the more I think about it, the more I see it.” Clearly, the seventeen-year-old younger sister isn’t ready for real responsibilities.
There’s a reason why rescue centers check an applicant’s background and capability before proceeding with the adoption process. Hopefully, she learns to acknowledge the truth and recognize her mistakes. She might finally have her pet if she accepts that a pet parent is more than flexing animals on the internet.