You have problems, I have advice. This advice isn't sugar-coated - in fact, it's sugar-free, and may even be a little bitter. Welcome to Tough Love.
This week we have someone who is freaked out about their friend coming over and infesting their home with bloodsucking creepy crawlies.
Keep in mind, I'm not a therapist or any other kind of health professional - just a guy who's willing to tell it like it is. I simply want to give you the tools you need to enrich your damn lives. If for whatever reason you don't like my advice, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now then, let's get on with it.
A friend of mine works a job where he is exposed to bed bugs. Possibly other nasty things as well, such as lice, roaches and fungal infections. But the bed bugs are confirmed. I am very uncomfortable with him visiting me at my home. I don't have 100 per cent confidence in his after work hygiene practices. Am I being unreasonable by barring him from my house?
His cat is living at my house for the foreseeable future and it is good for both of them that he comes here to visit. If I were to get an infestation in my home, neither one of us has the money to properly deal with it.
Hey Freaked Out,
Bed bugs are no laughing matter, and those other things aren't so great either, so I get it. Here's the thing: It's your home and you are not obligated to let anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable inside of it. Your home is supposed to be where you feel the most safe and secure. If him coming over while wearing his infested work clothes would ruin that warm, fuzzy feeling your home is supposed to provide, it isn't unreasonable for you to voice your concern.
That said, I'm sure your friend doesn't want to be exposed to bed bugs and the like, and you don't know that he has bed bugs himself. Also, it isn't very friendly to tell people they can't come in your house because you think they're gross. What you can do, though, is broach the subject with him and express your unease in a polite way (he is your friend, after all). I wouldn't mention the hygiene thing the exact way you put it, but you could ask him to please thoroughly wash up after work and change clothes before coming over to play with Mittens. Tell him that you're worried about infestations for both you and the cat's sake, and it wouldn't hurt to mention the money aspect. Explain that if there is an infestation of any kind, it's all on him to pay for the extermination. He doesn't have the money for something like that, you say, which is all the more reason for him to be careful.
Or, if it really bothers you that much, Freaked, lay down the law and tell him he can't come over to see the cat because of his job and the risks that it brings - then be prepared for the possibility of losing a friend.
Now, I want to talk about sweet little Mittens. If the cat truly is living at your house for the "foreseeable future", then that's your cat now, Freaked, not his. That's how pet ownership works (maybe not legally, but still). And because Mittens is a cat and not a child, it's neither good or bad for the cat if Bed Bug Bobby never comes to visit. Mittens will be fine whether they see triple-B again or not. Because Mittens is a cat. If Bed Bug Bobby has a problem with not getting to see "his" cat, he can take it back and care for it himself. Otherwise, it's your cat, living in your home, where you are the supreme ruler of all the land.
That's it for this week. I probably didn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes what you need is some tough love. 'Til next time, figure things out for yourself.