Dear Annie: My daughter is getting a divorce and moving into an apartment that allows her to have two cats. The problem is, she has four cats. She asked whether I would take two of them.
I live in another state. It would be difficult to get the cats here, and I don't think I can handle them. The idea of cat hair everywhere, smelly litter boxes, clawed furniture and finding cats in my bed when I'm sleeping is just too stressful. And frankly, I don't want to be tied down. My husband and I are retired and travel a lot.
How do we tell our daughter that we can't take her cats without causing her grief? I only want to make her happy. — Love Cats, But Not Here
Dear Love Cats: We know you want to please your daughter, but this request is unfair to you, as well as to the unwanted cats. You have to say no. Does she have any friends in her town who might take one or both of the cats? Is there a no-kill shelter where she could leave them for adoption or an animal rescue that could help find a foster home? Can she find another place to live where there is no restriction on the number of cats or offer her landlord a larger security deposit to cover the extra cats? Please remind yourself that the cats would not be better off with you, and then inform your daughter of your decision.
Dear Annie: My father recently passed away. In his will, he left some money to my disabled daughter. My husband and I are her legal guardians and plan to put this money in a special needs trust per my father's request.
My sister feels I should share this money with her and her son, even though Dad left my sister a substantial amount of money. While we control how our daughter's money is spent, we don't feel it is ours to give away. But should we give some to my sister to keep the peace? — Inheritance Dilemma
Dear Inheritance: If the bequest to your daughter was in your father's will, you probably do not have the legal right to alter the terms. Since your sister has already received a "substantial" sum from Dad's estate, we find it rather greedy that she wants to take money specifically designated for your daughter's long-term care. Have the executor of the will (or a lawyer) explain to Sis that this is not possible. If it comes from a professional, it will help.
Dear Annie: The letter from "In Pain" struck a chord with me. He said his wife refuses intimacy and won't discuss it. He says he helps around the house, makes her coffee, takes her out to dinner, sends her flowers and keeps himself in shape.
Over the past few years, I have heard the same complaints from my husband. Here's what's going on in our house: My husband works a high-stress job, and even the smallest things set him off. I hear about these things all day long through his text messages, phone calls and in conversation after we both are home from work.
What he doesn't realize is that these conversations have an effect on me. After listening to him vent and complain (with anger and swearing), the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is be intimate with him. All I want is a break from the stress that he passes on. I have tried to talk to him about this, but he responds with anger and frustration, and the conversations resolve nothing. I love my husband and have no intention of leaving, but there are limits to what I can tolerate.
"In Pain" should examine whether anything has changed in his behavior. He may be unknowingly pushing his wife away. While spouses should support each other, there are still limits. We shouldn't use our loved ones as emotional dumping grounds. — Need My Sanity
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.