Ask Mrs. McVeigh – Estate Life July

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Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I had a group of women over recently, and some were friends of friends. I have two cats, and one can be a little crazy, so I put him upstairs. The other one is friendly and non-obtrusive, so I let him roam the house as usual.
My cat ended up plopping down on my couch and curled up near (but not right next to) one of my guests. This happened as I stepped into the kitchen to bring out more food. Apparently, the guest freaked out, and hit my cat! Another guest told me what happened, so I came out of the kitchen, and asked the lady if my cat did something to her. She said the cat did not, but she just does not like cats, and did not know what he was going to do. I know not everyone likes cats, and I now realize that I should have put both cats upstairs. However, what do you think about this lady’s behavior? – Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

I must say that I am stunned by this woman’s behavior. I do not care if you are allergic to cats, or just do not like cats, or hate pets altogether. You should never touch anyone’s pet, especially in a forceful or abusive way. This is beyond bad manners; it is abhorrent behavior. I would not welcome this person into my home again. You have every right to let your cat sit on the couch in your house–especially if he is not disturbing anyone. The only thing I would do differently next time (and you may have done this) is ask people if they are allergic to cats before deciding whether to leave the good kitty downstairs or upstairs.

Highland Park resident Elise McVeigh is the founder of Mrs. McVeigh’s Manners and Elise McVeigh’s Life Camp, taking a unique approach to teaching manners to young children and university-aged students in a fun and effective way. She also gives seminars to parents on how to teach manners to their children. Follow Elise McVeigh on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, and Mrs. McVeigh’s Manners or Elise McVeigh’s Life Camp on Facebook.

Elise McVeigh Advice Column

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