Tulsa World

Roommate is feeling litter-boxed in

- AMY DICKINSON Ask Amy You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickins­on.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

Dear Amy: I recently moved into a new house with new roommates in a new city. I moved in after only a short Zoom tour of the place.

When I was talking with the roommates, one of the things they mentioned was how they liked not having a chore chart, preferring to live a more go-with-the-flow method of doing chores.

I didn’t realize that meant not doing chores at all.

I have resigned myself to look for a new place, but in the mean time, I just can’t adjust to the cat’s litter box. It emits an ungodly smell.

I know I should just talk to her about it, but I used to have a roommate who would scream at me if I ever brought up problems concerning her cat.

I’m desperatel­y hoping I don’t smell like the litter box now.

How do I get past my issues with my old roommate and address the pungent lifestyle of my current ones?

— Stinky Situation

Dear Stinky: A litter box should be cleaned and scooped out every

day. It takes literally moments to do this and it’s better for the cat, and the people who live with the cat. A dirty litter box can cause serious health problems for a cat and is a big stressor for both cats and people.

Yes, you should address this issue: “Carly, could you please clean your cat’s litter box? The smell is really intense.” You should assume a neutral attitude and keep your request brief and specific.

No, you don’t want to be screamed at, but you’ll have to be brave, calm and assertive.

You could also ask your current roommates to have a “house meeting” in order to try to establish some basic guidelines. They’ve already marked you as tidier and more hygienic than they are, and they might anticipate some of your concerns and dismiss them — but you might also make some headway.

When looking for future housing, youshouldm­akesuretoo­nlyliveina pet-free household.

Dear Amy: I’m a divorced 52-year-old woman.

I’ve always been told I don’t look a day over 30. I’m physically fit and have had a career in nursing for 20 years.

For the past two years, I have been dating a gentleman who is 35. He now wants to take our relationsh­ip a step further and wants us to move in together.

He is mature and stable. His career is in law enforcemen­t, and he has recently been promoted to sergeant. Do you have any advice for me? — Wondering

Dear Wondering: My advice to you would be the same I’d offer to anyone else: Discuss your values, habits, and personal finances before moving in together. Disclose your debts.

Put in writing any financial agreements or arrangemen­ts you two make.

Both should contribute to a joint account for household expenses, but otherwise keep your own savings and investment­s separate.

Agree to have a formalized “family meeting,” either on a regular weekly schedule, or whenever either partner needs to discuss something important.

Love each other as well as you can for as long as you can.

If you have any hesitation — no matter how opaque — you should not cohabit.

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