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Question DetailsAsked on 8/18/2011

How can I tell my highly "super-sensitive" sister it's not healthy to let her five cats walk or sit on the table, stove, counters, etc.

She's the "middle" sister who says, "We had a horrible Mother who didn't love me or give me enough attention or hold me on her lap", which is utter nonsense. She has built a cocoon around herself, her cats and dog which makes it difficult for us to think of the "right" words in order to not get her upset.

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It takes a lot to keep one cat from using the kitchen as a room of cat stands, so I can understand your frustration. The best you can do is ignore it and not eat there unless you are around to wash down all the surfaces with normal soap and water and supervise the cooking or do it yourself. Perfect use for carry out. She is very unlikely to get sick unless she lets the cats out and they don't have their shots or she is careless with cleaning up after them.

As for your mother ignoring her, each child's perception of a parent is different--sometimes totally--from other siblings. She may not have seen the love light in your mom's eyes or gotten comforted when she walked up to her or tried to sit on her lap or she could have needed more attention because of her personality. Her feelings are hers. Just feel sorry she can't let that go.

You've already tried to change her and to assure her your Mom loved her as much as she did everyone else, so let that go. If she won't stop the whining, either ignore it or keep visits and calls short. This isn't the type of behavior that an intervention can help. You all could try family therapy or she might want to do talk therapy if she's not functional in other parts of her life (likely depressed), but getting her to go would be hard to do unless you did it with her or talked with an expert about the specific situation. That's probably a good idea and might need to things that can work.

Answered 7 years ago by keikosmom




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