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January 20, 2007 / missknowitall

Not a cat lover!

Dear Little Miss, 

My friend would like me to take care of her beloved cat. My dog likes to chase cats, and I sometimes encourage him, because I don’t want bird-eating, and garden-pooping cats in my yard. Also, I do not want a cat. How should I tell my friend that I love her, but not her cat, and I do not want to take care of it. I don’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings, or injure our friendship.

—signed, a dog lover and closet cat disliker. 

Dear Dog Lover,

My mom always told me “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.  There is no reason to tell your friend that you don’t like her cat.  This is a mere matter of compatibility.  Your friend’s cat is not very likely to enjoy being chased by your dog any more than you will enjoy watching it chase your birds away.  Let us turn this into a concern for your friend’s cat.  Let her know that you are sorry you can’t help her this time, but that you are unable to provide a safe place for her cat because of your dog.  If she tries to give you ideas on how to make it work, just repeat the apology and say, “No, it just won’t work”.  Make sure that you offer your help in other ways, or schedule a friendly get-together when she comes back just to reaffirm your friendship and love for her.  

Hope this helps! 

Cat-scratchingly yours,

Little Miss Knowitall          

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