Dear Amy: My nephew donated his sperm to two lesbian friends so they could have a child.
Since then, my nephew considers this little girl his, and my older sister believes the child is her granddaughter! The two lesbians allow my nephew and my older sister to see this child whenever they want.
My younger sister and I do not recognize this little girl as family. My older sister cannot understand why we do not feel the same way she does.
My younger sister and I think this is not normal. My nephew is an alcoholic and currently in prison for DUI.
Are we wrong in our thinking, or has our older sister gone off the deep end?
— John in Arizona
Dear John: If enveloping a child in familial love is "going off the deep end," then I have this to say: Last one into the deep end of this (gene) pool is a rotten egg.
First of all, the child is biologically related to all of you. Her moms are open to all of you and are encouraging these family relationships.
You and your younger sister have the right to reject this relationship, but you two could be the ones who are really missing out.
Dear Amy: About three years ago my daughter and her husband split, forcing her and our three grandchildren into an apartment.
I agreed to take their two cats on a temporary basis because the apartment won't allow pets. I have never liked cats.
These cats are good cats and have grown on me. However, I hate the cat hair all over my house, and cleaning up after them and the fact that they've wrecked the carpet on my steps by clawing at it.
We are about to begin a house renovation. I have asked my daughter to try to find these guys a new home, but instead she says, "How are you going to explain it to the grandkids that you got rid of their pets?"
Now I'm just angry.
What's your advice?
— Fed up
Dear Fed: You were kind to take in these cats, and it would be best if you now considered that they don't belong to your daughter or the kids — they are yours. You are renovating your house anyway, so why not mitigate some of the issues that bother you the most? Most troublesome cat behavior can be corrected by altering their environment.
Before you give up on these two, read "Starting From Scratch: How to Correct Behavior Problems in Your Adult Cat," by feline behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett.
If you insist on giving these cats away, make sure they go together!
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