Posted: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: Our very good friends got a kitten a year ago. The kitten was never properly trained and now, as a grown cat, thinks it is welcome everywhere.
When we go to their home for dinner, the cat walks all over the kitchen counters where the food is being prepared and even jumps up on the dinner table while we’re eating. My wife refuses to go to their house for any reason, especially meals, and won’t accept any food they bring to us. We’ve met them for dinner in restaurants a couple of times, but it is getting awkward to keep avoiding their place. Should we admit that the prevalence of the cat all over everything makes it undesirable? — California
Dear California: If your friends ask why you won’t come over, you should tell them the truth in the nicest way possible. Say it makes you uncomfortable when the cat walks all over the countertops and dinner table. They may protest, but you can easily hold your ground by pleading a highly developed sensitivity to cat hair. At this point, they are not likely to retrain the cat, so it is kinder to let them assume the problem is yours.
Dear Annie: “Heartsick in the Heartland” can be supportive of her nephews with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) by contacting a wonderful organization called Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), founded and funded by parents, therapists and medical researchers. Their Web site is www.parentprojectmd.org and their toll-free number is 1-800-714-5437.
PPMD has contacts and activities in most states. At their annual conferences, there is an opportunity to meet other parents and hear what new developments exist. The important thing is for parents to know they are not alone. There is hope, help and friendship. There is no cure, but treatments may make it possible for a person to live to age 30 in relatively good shape.
All states have support and funding programs for children with disabilities, including getting them into Medicare. Swimming and water therapy are invaluable to a child with DMD. With the aid of a walker or wheelchair, a DMD child can attend a regular school and maybe even college. I wish I could share the bright, angelic smile of my 3-year-old grandson. With intense physical therapy, he has just learned to walk. Oh, how he laughs! He brings great joy to everyone who meets him. — A Caring Grandmother
Dear Annie: My wife of four years died rather quickly last year, and I was devastated. She was only 42. I am 49.
Her 22-year-old daughter came to live with me, and we began consoling each other. She is the spitting image of her mother. The problem is, we have fallen in love. We share the same bed now and are sexually intimate. I want to ask her to marry me, and I know she will say yes.
She is not a blood relation and has no relatives to object. Her father left her mother when she was young, and he has never been in contact. I am in love and feel like a kid again. Is this wrong? — San Pedro
Dear San Pedro: Well, there is a huge “ick” factor. Aside from that, this girl is only 22. The loss of her mother brought you two together, but in a superficial, and likely temporary, way. We can understand what appeals to you — she looks like Mom, she is young and vibrant and makes you feel like a teenager, and you have a loss in common. She may love you, but it could be as the father figure who has been missing from her life. If you truly love her, please give her the time, opportunity and freedom to figure it out.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.3.10