I love my folks, I really do.  But there’s a reason why I moved 6hrs away from them.

My parents have been out visiting this week.  The plans almost got canceled by Irene, then almost canceled by Irene’s aftermath (my folks got stuck in a jam from hell when flooding shut down part of I90 a bit unexpectedly), but they made it here a several hours late but fine.  Brought out with them the last of the odds and ends of mine that had been left at their house, along with the canning tools they’re not using.

Usually it takes my mother a good week to piss me off to the point of wanting to scream at her.  She did it in 3 days this time.

Background:  I’ve mentioned before that Janie has some health problems, specifically thyroid and kidney issues.  Since even before she got sick she was VERY PICKY about her litter box I’ve always spent extra on the powered ones that clean themselves.  After she got sick even that wasn’t enough for her, so at some point last fall I added a 3rd (small, regular) litter box, the kind that requires manual scooping.  And I have been OCD about scooping it ever other day to make sure it stays clean.  Well now that she’s finally getting better (she put on a full pound in less than 6 months) I’ve been attempting to wean her off the 3rd litter box.  I’ve been doing this by not cleaning it as regularly so that if she wants a clean box she has to go to the powered ones again (I’m down to cleaning it once a week).  And it seems to be working, at some point shortly I’ll be pulling the 3rd box permanently.

So Tuesday my folks arrive on my doorstep, and my mom spots the un-clean litterbox.  And doesn’t say anything.  Wednesday at some point she apparently went out of her way to check it again (and yes I’d not cleaned it yet).  During conversation Wednesday we ended up in a discussion of Janie’s health problems.

Thursday morning I have an email from my mother (wtf? they’re 20 minutes down the road in a hotel, why is she emailing me??), informing me that “if the cat is having kidney issues a not clean litter box isn’t going to help that and if I was having problems keeping it clean I ought to try a different litter, here’s a link to a great one try this”.  And I think: wtf is she talking about “having trouble keeping the litter boxes clean” I have two powered ones that clean themselves and I KNOW they work cause they make noise when they go off??  But regardless I’ve already spent quite a bit of time and money narrowing down the types of litter my two cats will use and prefer and as a result have to go out of my way to buy it, and the litter she was suggesting was one I’d tried that they didn’t like.  So I emailed back stating I’d tried it and they didn’t like it.  Her response “well you have to change over to the different litter gradually or of course they’ll not use it” to which I again responded (all over email mind you) that I HAD changed it over gradually.  She responded back with yet another link to a different litter to try instead.  At that point I got peeved and sent her an email which basically stated that I didn’t appreciate my mother insulting my intelligence by implying that I was to stupid to figure out that the litter box and litter type might be effecting my cats so drop it.  And I didn’t get an email back.  And it never came up in conversation that day, so I figured that was the end of it.  Except that since I don’t do the litter box till Saturday, it was, of course, still dirty when my parents arrived at the house on Thursday.

Friday morning I have ANOTHER email from my mother:

If you really mean that then why are the cat boxes uncleaned for days

Your poor cats are having to used an un-flushed toilet for days on end
I feel for the poor ladies.

So basically I’m A: to stupid to figure out that how clean the litter box is might affect my cat’s health, B: to stupid to figure out that changing the type litter might help, C: to stupid to figure out HOW to go about changing which litter they’re using (cause obviously that’s the ONLY reason they’d not like the litter she’s suggesting), and now D: I’m horribly neglecting my cats by not changing their litter box….except I AM cause there’s two powered litter boxes in the other room that keep themselves clean so WTF is she talking about??  So I take a deep breath and respond asking WHAT litter box is she talking about.  Sure enough, the one (the 3rd temporary one) in the office “that you’ve not bothered to do ANYTHING with since we got there.”

Now my mother KNOWS we have the two powered litter boxes, I went out of my way to SHOW them to her last time we were up cause she was interested in buying one similar to one of them.  She knows I’ve BEEN using powered litter boxes for a while cause I regularly gripe about the cost vs how long they last.  And yet she didn’t bother to even LOOK at those boxes before going off in her own little world where her daughter is stupid and unable to care for her animals properly.  Never mind that if she said something of the sort in-front of the wrong person I could loose all 3 animals and end up having to prove in court that I wasn’t neglecting them to get them back.  Never mind that if she had bothered to ask the simple question FIRST “how often to you clean your boxes” we could have cleared the whole thing up with no fuss or bother.  ARG!!!!

I emailed back stating that the litter box in the office hadn’t been cleaned because I’d added it temporarily while Janie was sickest and was now attempting to wean her off using it, because I have TWO POWERED BOXES THAT SHE DIDN’T BOTHER TO EVEN LOOK AT before informing me how horrid I was. 

No response then or since, and yes I cleaned the litter box yesterday morning on schedule, at the same time that I emptied the containers on the two powered ones.  Yes I’m still peeved.  And now my folks apparently noticed that the housing market out here is ever so much cheaper than Boston so maybe they’ll move out here when she retires…..!  (My husband turned to me after they left and asked where we were going to move to in that case and should he start looking for a job there?)

3 thoughts on “Parents”

  1. Parents seeem to be able to pick at things until they are all blown out of proportion.

    The joys of family not living too close cannot be overstated (not saying we don't love them, just distance helps).

  2. Maybe you can find them a good deal on a house at least 100 miles away from you?
    Remind them of the loss they'll be taking on their current house?

    Find them a retirement condo far enough away?

    I feel your pain!

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