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My parents, who live with us, insist we come home from our cottage, 7 hours away, to cat sit while they go on vacation. My husband and I have recently retired and started spending more time at our cottage, 7 hours from home. We are farmers and we move north as soon as the crops are planted and we return for the fall harvest which is determined by the weather. My parents live with us and they also want to take several weeks away in the summer which is perfectly reasonable. The problem is they have a cat and they insist we come home to look after the kitty when they go away. I've asked them to have someone come in or my son has offered to look after the cat at his house but they refuse either option. This year we are cutting our summer short to come home to look after their cat because my parents are going abroad for 3 weeks, same last year. I know it sounds selfish but I have health issues and maximizing my time at the place I love is important to me. My parents think we're being selfish because they "look after" the house while we're gone and they don't think it's asking too much for us to come home and cat sit. In reality, we would have no problem if they left for the whole summer. We've made arrangements for someone to cut the grass while we're gone so all they need to do is take out their own garbage and they are in no way obligated to take care of the house. We also have a cat and she lives happily with my daughter while we're away and our dogs come with us. H

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When we travel, we ask our neighbor to come over every couple of days to check on kitty and make sure he has food and water. Cats can go for days without someone checking on them. They get a little lonely but who cares, they get over it.

I know these types. The pet is more important than you are. I kept my brother in law's sick old crazy dog for 6 weeks once while he went over seas. I insisted on a crate for him because he would destroy my home when I left. Brother in law didn't want to provide one but I insisted. He was a crazy dog and did a lot of damage, none of which my brother in law wanted to acknowledge.

Some people are nutty when it comes to pets.
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Frankly, this is a ridiculous request. I have a cat that I have boarded for 3 weeks at a time, and it's fine. It might take a couple days for the cat to settle in, but so what? You don't have to organize your life around someone else's cat. Just say no and let the chips fall where they may.
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Go pick up the cat and take him back to your summer place with you. Yeah, it'll take two days, but it's doable. Then be a little slow getting it back to them when they return. Take it back when you return for the fall. They won't like it; but it'll fit YOUR plans better.

BTW, I agree with your husband. Put him first. He probably doesn't ask that very often. You're under no obligation to inconvenience you and your husband in order to convenience them.

If they don't like it? They can ask your son. Or a neighbor. Don't let yourself be guilted into doing this unreasonable favor. THEY are being unreasonable.

You're welcome, Mr. Janner. ;)
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My parents don't want the cat to have to travel or board because they say it's too stressful for him. He can't go along with them because he stresses out while in the car and they normally fly to their destination. I don't want to upset my parents who are 80 and 77, but at the same time, I have to deal with my husband who thinks it's absurd to come home to look after the cat. The compromise we've made the last 2 years is for us to delay the start of our summer so they can have a spring vacation and cut short the end so they can also go away in late summer or early fall. I want my parents to enjoy their years and travel or do whatever pleases them but I don't want to be left at home looking after the cat when I could be away myself.
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I can't believe you cut your vacation short for this. I realize it probably adds to some family harmony, but kitty should go to the local kennel while your parents are away. It's their pet. They're responsible for kitty. There's no reason everyone shouldn't have a nice vacation and, if they are so concerned about kitty, they could consider finding a place where they can take kitty along as there are pet-friendly motels around.
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Hmm, I am thinking the cat rules the household. Many people board their pets or make other arrangements when they go on vacation. I am a lover of animals, but I have to say that this "cat's rights" goes way beyond. There are too many other options. Is your mother afraid the cat will be mad at her if it has to go stay with your brother for a few days? That is giving the feline a lot of power, and I have a feeling it is more about your mother's anxiety than the cat.
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