I've somehow become the bad guy in Dad's mind, and I'm saddened and disturbed by that. Dad had adopted a stray cat a little while ago; it turned out that someone had dumped her most likely because she was pregnant. Well, she gave birth to a litter of kittens in Dad's house, and next thing you know Dad has eight kittens and a stray. While the mother cat is docile and people friendly, the kittens weren't--and Dad simply wasn't able to keep up with them as well as he might have when his health was better. End result: the kittens aren't properly litter trained, and they're ruining Dad's porch and his house.
I talked with Dad about it, and he and Kim and Cole and and I agreed that it would be best to take the kittens to a local no-kill animal shelter so that they might litter train them and find them good homes while they were young enough to be domesticated. All was fine until last Friday, when Dad became very upset that I was forcing him to give up his cats. Nothing I could say would convince him that (a) this was something we had all agreed on, and (b) it was beneficial for him and the cats.
I feel awful about this. I love Dad, and I love cats; I don't want to do the wrong thing for either. But I know that Dad simply can't take care of the cats and maintain his house. If he wanted, he could keep the mother cat if we simply took her to be spayed; I'd gladly pay for that, but Dad is for some reason opposed to this. Dad has a strong antipathy for doctors of any sorts, and that apparently extends to veterinarians as well.
I'm at a loss. For the first time that I can remember, I simply couldn't bring myself to call Dad tonight because I just wasn't prepared to have to face the reminder that I am the bad guy. And the whole experience is leading me into a somber melancholy that seems to feed on itself; I've had this happen before, and I don't enjoy the results. Tonight, I found it easier to avoid the problem. That won't be possible for more than a day or so, but there are times when avoiding the inevitable seems desirable, and this is one of them...