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I was living with and taking care of my 80 year old mother, living in her one bedroom apartment, sleeping on her couch. I became so emotionally drained ... gave up my entire life ... work, social life, pets, etc. While living with my mom (who has a very mild stage of Parkinson's (those are the words of her physician), I observed her very carefully on a day-to-day basis and realized that she was being very manipulative in the sense that she was able to do most things for herself and was putting on an act to keep me there. After about 6-7 months of living on the couch, not working, having all of my belongings in her tiny bedroom closet or on the side of the couch, I made the decision to move out. Mind you, the entire time I lived with my mom, my two cats were in the care of a wonderful lady who offered to take them in. Let me back up a little bit. I lived with my mom briefly (with my two cats who were a year old at that time) about 4 years ago. My mom has a 15 year old dog (she was 11 years old during my previous brief stay). Anyway, one of my cats at that time was slightly aggressive with my moms dog at that time, having never been around a dog before. Currently, I am contemplating moving back with my mom. Since I have been gone, when I do go over to help her with some things, I have noticed a drastic decline with her. I do not believe all of it is manipulation this time around. The problem I am up against now is, my mom has agreed to transfer to a two bedroom so that I can have my "own space", however, me moving back in with her will entail bringing my cats with me. I have had them back for a couple of months after being seperated from them for 6+ months. My mom is adamant that I get my one cat declawed due to the previous "slight aggression" years before. I AM NOT GETTING HIM DECLAWED and I have been over this with her many times. These are MY animals and I do not feel that I should have to give them up and or altar anything about them to live with and take care of my mother. I have expressed to my mother that I am very unhappy where I am currently staying and I truly believe that in that sense, she is trying to manipulate me in saying that my cat HAS to be declawed in order for me to bring him with me. She does not want any stress for her dog. This is so unfair to me. I don't know what to do. I have even expressed to her that I will be there to watch him and that if I do leave (briefly for the day or night) I will put him in my room and close the door. She still adamantly says no. I will be sacrificing my life, once again, moving back in with her. I shouldn't have to give up my pets.

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Chauna, are you working now and taking care of yourself? Tell us a little about your own personal life. There are other options for taking care of your mother that do not require you moving in with her. If you do not want to declaw your cat, then you should not do it. The thing that concerns me most is that you would be moving back into the same situation that you left not long ago. Even if you get a 2-BR apartment, would conditions be so different that you think you could tolerate living there this time? You may want to look at putting your own life back together and thinking about what options would be best for both you and your mother. Can she afford assisted living? Would she do well in an independent retirement community? You could still visit and help, but it could help you rebuild your own life and help your cats keep its claws.
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Your mother would rather stress her daughter than risk stressing her dog.

Hmmm ...

Are you SURE you want to move back in with her?
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