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Question from Mad for Mr. Buttons

Dear Lindsey,
I have been dating this guy for a little over a year now and I think he may be the one.  We have been talking about moving in together into his house since I rent an apartment.  The problem is I have a cat, Mr. Buttons, who my boyfriend doesn't like.  I've had Mr. Buttons for 5 years now and I am not about to get rid of him, but my boyfriend refuses to have a cat in his house.  There is no perfectly good reason why he shouldn't like Mr. Buttons, other than he doesn't like cats.  Mr. Buttons is very sweet, is front-paw declawed, and sleeps most of the time.  If he were an evil cat or tore up the furniture I may understand why he wouldn't want him, but he's the perfect companion.  He doesn't even have pet allergies, so really there is no good excuse to not like Mr. Buttons.
For the last year that we have been dating we mostly are at his house so he doesn't have to be around the cat.  On the rare occasion he has to come to my apartment he makes me lock Mr. Buttons in the guest bedroom so he doesn't have to interact with him.
Is there anything I can do to get my boyfriend to let me keep Mr. Buttons?  It's silly to say, but since I don't have real children Mr. Buttons is basically my child.  It may break my heart to have to give him up.  I've told my boyfriend this and he just replies with "it's just a cat, what's the big deal."  Please help me!
- Mad for Mr. Buttons

Dear Mad for Mr. Buttons,
Your boyfriend sounds like a real douche bag!  Sorry to say it so bluntly, but it's true.  I have the urge to punch him in the face and I don't even know him. 
If you love Mr. Buttons as much as you say you do, I can't believe you've kept this guy around so long.  Anyone you want to spend your life with should be accepting of the things you love.  Your boyfriend needs to realize that the cat was with you long before he was and if he loves you he needs to be respectful of the things you love.
When I went to my husband's house for the first time way back when we had just started dating, I walked in the front door and saw this giant, orange cat sitting on the top of the reclining chair.  I asked who she was and he said her name is Molly Esther.  Right then I knew I had found the one.  I already had two cats of my own and was so impressed to see he had a cat as well.  Not many single guys have cats and to top it off he gave her a first and middle name.  I was in love because I knew we both had a huge love for animals among tons of other things we had in common.  I could never be with someone who was not an animal lover.
Your loser boyfriend won't even let you have your beloved pet in the same room when you're at your apartment.  This should be an instant red flag that he is in fact NOT the one.  Even though you may think you love him, anyone who treats something that you care about so horribly does not love you the way you should be loved.  Try an experiment and tell him that there is no way you are giving up Mr. Buttons and he'll just have to learn to love him once you move in together.  See what his reaction is and make a decision based on that.  Chances are your boyfriend is not going to be willing to have you both living under his roof.
My advice is to can the cat-hater ASAP and wait for Mister Right to come along.  Maybe volunteer at an animal shelter, zoo, or veterinary clinic to meet guys who love animals.  Surround yourself with people who have similar interests and the right person will come along.  When he does you'll  be amazed at how much you are truly in love, and how wrong you were to stick with a guy who tried to make you get rid of your first love, Mr Buttons.
Lots of Love,

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