Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Exotic Pets And Cats Are Not A Good Mix

Dear Tazi:

My boyfriend of two years and I are talking about moving in together now that we have both graduated from high school. I love “Paul” dearly and would love to move our relationship to the next level but there is one major problem. Our pets are incompatible.

I have a cat – “Major Fluffums” – who I have had since I was 13. I would sooner cut off an arm than abandon Major, and my family has made it quite clear that Major Fluffums is my cat – where I go, he goes; not that I would have it any other way. I would never do anything to put major in danger or even the slightest discomfort. The way I see it, I am his human guardian and it is my responsibility to see to his proper care.

Paul has a snake – twelve foot long python that he keeps in a large fish tank. “Sally” only eats once every three to four weeks, but when she is fed live animals – guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, rats, and other prey animals. About once a week, Paul will allow Sally out of her tank for supervised roaming throughout his house. This takes place when nobody else is home because Paul’s mother and sisters are freaked out over Sally’s presence. The only reason Paul has been allowed to keep Sally is because she was a gift from his late father.

Paul’s mother has not had to tell him that if he moves out Sally must go as well, but it does not need to be said. I, on the other hand, will not move Major Fluffums into a house where there is an animal that views him as a future meal. I have told Paul as much, but he insists that Sally would never eat Major because he only lets her out of her cage between feedings, never before one. Paul feels about Sally as I do about Major Fluffums, so it appears there is no room for compromise. Short of waiting for one of our pets to pass away, do you have any suggestions on how to make a living arrangement between us work?

Paul’s Girl But Major Fluffums’ Mom

Dear Paul’s Girl But Major Fluffums' Mom:

Where do I begin? First I will say that Paul cannot guarantee that Sally will not eat Major Fluffums. A python is a wild animal, and wild animals are unpredictable. The mere smell of Major Fluffums will be enough to drive Sally crazy, and if Paul has been anywhere near Major Fluffums the scent of cat will be on him, thus putting him in danger every time he approaches Sally. If this is something he has not realized yet, moving in together will bring this issue to the forefront.

Another issue is the licensing of a wild animal as a pet. In order to keep a python as a pet, you are required to have special permission from both your local municipality and the landlord from whom you are renting. While the municipal license may not be an issue, finding an understanding landlord might be a problem. If you are unable to find a landlord willing to rent to someone with a python, your problem with Major Fluffums becomes a non-issue.

Finally is the issue that both of you are putting your pets before each other. A successful relationship requires that each member put the other first; neither you nor Paul is doing this, nor do either of you appear to have the will to compromise on the matter. Before moving in together I think it would be best if you each made a list of what is important to you, and then compare notes to see just how willing each of you is towards supporting the goals of the other. You may be surprised at what you discover, and it may be enough to put the brakes on your plans to move your relationship to the next level.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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