Dear Jara, This might sound like a stupid question, but I am positively stumped. My boyfriend and I have been together for two years. We just got engaged and are planning on moving in together. But there is one little catch: He has given me an ultimatum. I have to give up my cat, Meatball, before he moves in because he is allergic. I have had that cat for seven years, much longer than I have even known my boyfriend, and Meatball is like my baby! How can I give him up? I don’t want to. He seems to be sympathetic and understands how hard it would be for me to let Meatball go, but he has put his foot down. He won’t move in until the cat is gone. Sincerely, Meatball Lover Dear Meatball Lover, NOOOO! This has got to be the worst type of decision. I absolutely adore my dog, and if my dude was allergic, I don’t even know what I would do. I am allergic to cats, and typically grab a Claritin if I’m going to someone’s house. Maybe your dude can just do a daily allergy med? Maybe something from his doctor? I refuse to believe that even though we can grow an ear on the back of a mouse, we still cannot get out from under allergies. Relationships are about compromise. I’m sure you’ve thought of keeping your cat in one area of the house — which also sounds unreasonable and unfair to your kitty. If you have looked into everything medication-wise, you could just make a daily commitment to cleaning, which means dusting/vacuuming every single day. Which doesn’t sound reasonable, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Special HEPA filters on your vacuum can get things under control, while steam-cleaning is the best option. You could also wash your cat — I wouldn’t, but I have heard of people doing it. If you’re not going to spend your life cleaning, it will really boil down to your cat or your man. Ultimatums are dumb, and they are also unfair; it’s hard to get your way after you have set the terms. He has set the tone, and you need to answer back. He knew you had the cat from the start. My advice is to crush his resistance on the surface, but quietly prepare a new loving home for your cat if things go sideways. He’s on the Meatball train or he’s not. You will make a decided effort to control the dander, to make him comfortable, but the cat stays. You had the cat first; he can wait it out. While compromise is a must, it isn’t going to be accomplished through acts of terrorism. If things don’t work out, if you can’t keep it clean enough, re-think your Meatball plan. If you are fully okay with giving Meatball to a new home, you’ll be ready. But I wouldn’t come out of the gate letting your dude know he can put up these ultimatums and get his way every single time. Giving up your pet is a big deal. Bend now and you’ll have no hand in the relationship.