How To Deal With Father-in-law’s Rude Remarks About Cats Over The Holidays

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Dear Tabby,

My father-in-law hates cats. I’ve always had (and loved) cats. My husband was not a “cat person” when he met me, but he’s come to adore Clive, the one we have now. Whenever either of us mention Clive in front of my husband’s parents, my father-in-law teases his son about becoming a girly cat-lover. We know he’s just trying to get a rise out of us, but it irks me and angers my husband. How do we respond? And is it my job or my husband’s?

Signed:

My Admirable Spouse Can’t Understand Father’s Especially Loutish Insensitivity and Nasty Expressions

Response:

Dear My Admirable Spouse Can’t Understand Father’s Especially Loutish Insensitivity and Nasty Expressions,

Have your husband tackle this one. The last thing you want is more fodder for your father-in-law (“What — my son’s too girly to fight his own battles?”).

And really, all he needs to do is be honest: “It may not make sense to you, Dad, but we both really love Clive. We’d appreciate it if you’d lay off the jabs for a while.”

Your father-in-law may keep up the ribbing, and if he does, you have a couple of choices.

1. Reduce the time you spend with him.

2. Laugh off his insults.

I recommend the second option. He’s either so insecure in his masculinity he feels compelled to chastise another man for caring about an animal — or he’s never known the joy of loving a cat. Either way, M.A.S.C.U.(F.E.)L.I.N.E., he’s missing out.

Last bit of advice: Hold off mentioning your husband’s new quilting group.