While we all love our pets, it's also true that they can be a lot of hard work. But one parent who is at the end of their tether with their children's level of pet care has sparked a fierce debate online this week.
A father took to the infamous Reddit AITA forum to discuss his conundrum. He claims he's so fed up with taking care of the family cats he's planning to get rid of them - and people had a lot to say on the issue.
The dad first explained some background to the family's history with pets. "Up until this point, the only pet we've had are a few hamsters that the kids haven't taken care of, which has forced me to be the one caring for them until they pass away. I haven't wanted to go through all that again, so when my wife and kids started practically begging me to get a cat, I was against it."
But the mom and kids were persistent, and after promising they'd do all of the work for a pet cat, the dad conceded. "They went out to a rescue without me, and brought home, not one, but 2 cats without having consulted me. My wife told me that the cats were brothers and that they couldn't be separated and that the kids had fallen in love with them. Okay, whatever, I wouldn't be taking care of them so it wasn't my choice."
Then things started to go downhill. "The kids stopped playing with them, cleaning the litter boxes, etc. I repeatedly told them to do it, I told them that we weren't keeping the cats if they weren't being taken care of. They said okay but never did."
The dad was then forced to take drastic action. "I began to care for the cats and the kids began to ignore them. I have sat them all down and said that I wasn't about to take care of the cats for the next several years and that, if they didn't keep up their end of the promise, then I would get rid of the cats."
Then, when the dad was talking to his sister, she revealed she was actually looking to get a new cat. The dad thought this was a perfect solution to the problem, and packed up the cats to go to his sister's. But when the mom and kids found out, all hell broke loose.
"She went and told the kids, and all three are mad at me now. Even the cats seem mad. Am I being unreasonable about this?"
But it seems most Redditors are on the dad's side. "You literally sat them down and told them the cats were going if they didn't take care of them. Sounds like your wife and kids don't actually want a pet, they want a toy to play with until they get bored of it," one person wrote.
"The best thing he can do for the cats it seems is to rehome them with his sister. They're being neglected where they are now, except what he can do for them unwillingly. I don't care how p****d off the wife and kids are, I care about the quality of life for those cats and OP definitely did the right thing," someone else added.
What do you think of this conundrum? Was the dad too harsh - or acting in the best interests of the cats?