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Long-term girlfriend and I can't agree on cats.

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You two lived together, so the decision of getting a pet shouldn't have been decided by only one partner. Because this happened, you would be wise to presume that if you two lived together again as lifetime partners, the same could happen for other major decisions that she could make regardless of your opinion. if you didn't want children, she could go off birth control because she wants a child. If you two combined funds for a vacation but she all of a sudden wanted a new car instead, when you got home it'd be sitting in the driveway.

She made a decision for her own good and regarding you, she let the chips fall where they may. Does that sound like someone who truly loves you?

This relationship started when you two were young. Even though you missed each other, face the fact you've grown apart and realize your wants and needs are opposite to your partner's--a quite common happening during one's twenties.

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Plenty of people live with cats and dogs who also stay on top of the mess and odors. So is the problem for you the existence of the animals themselves, or just the smell and mess that GF allows to accumulate?

If you don't hate the animals but rather the mess that GF doesn't clean, you could attempt a compromise, but it will be expensive. 

Only one of you signs the lease, and the other agrees to pay that person half rent while trying a temporary arrangement.

You both split the cost of a daily cat care service: a person who comes to your home each workday to feed the cats and wash their dishes and water bowls, play with the cats for exercise, groom the cats, clear the litter, run then clear the vacuum in the litter room, adjacent rooms and places where the cats sleep.

GF also agrees to a regular cleaning routine when she gets home from work: clearing the litter and dust-busting any stray litter and cat hair.

If this doesn't work out for you, you agree to part, and the leaseholder becomes responsible for paying full rent.

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