“DEAR ABBY: I’m recently married, and in my opinion, my wife has too many pets”

Dear Abby is an American advice column founded in 1956 by Pauline Phillips under the pen name “Abigail Van Buren” and carried on today by her daughter Jeanne Phillips, who now owns the legal rights to the pen name.

Dear Abby

Dear Abby receives a letter from ‘lamenting man’

A letter to Dear Abby from a man who is ‘lamenting’ his marriage has gone to the cats and dogs has gone viral. The letter reads

“DEAR ABBY: I’m recently married, and in my opinion, my wife has too many pets — seven inside dogs. She also feeds the neighborhood cats, so at any given time of day, there are 10 to 18 cats in our front yard.

The dogs inside have no boundaries. They have taken over the main living space. The family room sofas are filthy and destroyed, so we can’t use that space either, and it’s a total eyesore. The carpet is gone, and there is dirt and dog hair everywhere.

I’m at my wits’ end. I feel I have no say in this matter, and I’m constantly stressed over these living conditions. I hate going home. I have dogs with me when I eat, sleep and make love. I don’t know how to approach her on this when she sees nothing wrong with it. All she sees is their cuteness.”

The man signs his letter ‘living like an animal in Phoenix.’

The response by Dear Abby asks the man whether or not he knew beforehand that his future wife was an animal lover and whether she would put her animals above him in the relationship.

THEN Abby advises him to contact local city or county government and find out whether there are restrictions on the number of animals that homeowners are allowed to keep on their property. She tends to take the mans side and thinks a compromise should be worked out.

I, on the other hand, wonder why they married when there’s such a clear breakdown in communication even before the vows were exchanged. Did the man think his future wife would get rid of the animals? Should she have been expected to? Did he have no clue when he visited the home?

You can't keep your cat

I have a lot of friends who are a bit over the top on their preference to animals over people. From what I’ve seen, their significant other was totally aware of the situation long before the marriage. Personally, I prefer the company of animals to the company or people and I don’t plan to change. I’m happy, as I’m sure many unattached pet owners are. With all of the dating horror stories we see online, I defend my position.

Women are called crazy cat ladies, in part, because we choose cats over human companionship (or at least a good portion of our time is spent with our cats). There are also some men with the same intense connection to cats. I’m not sure what to call the men. Most of us embrace the title now. There are a lot worse names to be called these days.

My question to all of you today is did you know about the priority pets take in a relationship? Should the person who is an animal lover have to change to suit someone in their life or should the animal lover wait around for the right person to come alone (keeping in mind that may never happen)?

I really don’t believe it was a good idea for Abby to suggest turning to authorities. It seems like too much of an effort to get the animals booted out on an ordinance that may or may not exist.

Regardless, the animals involved will likely end up in a kill shelter. Unless the wife ends the marriage. It does sound like she needs to cut back on the animals in her life, being that the home is ‘filthy.’ I wonder if anyone showed her the letter to Dear Abby and she recognized herself.

What would YOU do if a relationship depended on you getting rid of your cats or dogs? Feel free to sound off in the comments.

He won’t let me keep my cat

FB comments (see below)


“DEAR ABBY: I’m recently married, and in my opinion, my wife has too many pets” — 10 Comments

  1. I’m glad to be in good company here. My last human companion didn’t like my companion cats and I was happy to oblige her ultimatum and moved out. I bought a home with my cats’ comfort in mind as the priority. In fact I “collected” more in the years to come. I used to care for barns of horses and saw little difference by comparison. Living conditions should suit all who live within a domicile, including humans, but we can be more finicky than animals and not realize it. A little dirt and fur should be tolerable, but when it isn’t it’s usually a case of a person showing their true nature being tested. Too much mess (that you can’t keep up with) is another matter and everything to a degree. I look forward to meeting someone who likes cats as much as I do, which aren’t quite as messy as dogs, but I think it goes beyond that… it goes to how much you love the animals. If you can’t accept a little mess then you don’t love them much at all, meaning I won’t love you for long either.

  2. I myself am fortunate that I have a tolerant husband because when we first got together we adopted our 1st cat ‘Trinity’ then there came Grey~Grey and ‘Storm’ then we bought a house and cats started being dumped on my property of which at first they were taken to our local SPCA and I then started to foster for the SPCA and I have been a foster failure 3 times so today in total I have 13 cats and my husband has never tried to tell me enough is enough and I keep my house tidy and I clean out all of their 8 litter boxes every other day but I am done taking in any more cats so 13 is my limit.

    • Don’t feel bad; I had 15 for 3 years running (which tapered off) and I look back on that time as the best in my life. My days were filled living with them, through them, all the interaction, affection and companionships; seriously, the more the merrier though there were some things to contend with. The extra work and expense was worth it. I miss that time… I miss them all terribly. I was so involved with them I didn’t imagine how it would be as they (and after they) passed away. Though I have four now, who didn’t even know the ones who came before, so it’s different. I love them too but my life now is relatively empty by comparison. You probably know this but enjoy while you can, and thank your husband every day for his tolerance and involvement in it. We all know the human / animal bond is pretty special; arguably something worth living for, giving your life a lot of meaning and value.

  3. Those advice columns were always a joke. The one sided blip about someone’s grievance and advice to ditch the loser.
    If the person you dated has pets it’s reasonable to assume your future wife/husband will have pets.
    If the house is trashed because there are 7 dogs in the house it’s not trashed because there are 7 dogs it’s trashed because both parties living there are pigs.
    Telling the spouse to turn the wife into the authorities is about as low as you can get. 7 dogs does not a hoarder make.
    I suggest if he hates his living conditions he confronts his wife with lousy housekeeping and they both pitch in and clean the place up or he is free to hit the road.

  4. Her twin sister Ann Landers had the same attitude toward pets vs spouses or significant others. Always advised to ditch the animal in favor of the human. That’s why I cared for neither of their “advice” columns, or them.

  5. I currently have 4 cats & have had as many as 6 at one time. If a man can’t or won’t accept my cats then there is absolutely NO room for him in my life. Would he ask me to “get rid of” my human kids if he didn’t like/approve of them? I would never turn my back on my 2 or 4 legged kids.

    • Yes, and as I’ve said here and in other threads, I left my last human companion who turned out to be just a fair-weather friend due to her in tolerance of my cats. Such people just don’t get it do they? Oh well, right? Bye, bye to them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please try and upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks. Comment rules: (1) respect others (2) threatening, harassing, bullying, insulting and being rude to others is forbidden (3) advocating cat cruelty is forbidden (4) trolls (I know who they are) must use real name and upload a photo of themselves. Enforcement: (1) inappropriate comments are deleted before publication and (2) commenters who demonstrate a desire to flout the rules are banned. Failure to comply with (4) results in non-publication. Lastly, please avoid adding links because spam software regards comments with links as spam and holds them in the spam folder. I delete the spam folder contents daily.