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Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

A few years ago, my husband and I were friends with a couple, "Bobby" and "Betty." They had been together for about a year when I met them. We could tell that they were having problems. We both liked Bobby better than Betty. We played the unofficial role of his relationship therapist whenever the two of them were fighting. I think Betty resented us. When they finally broke up, we remained friends with Bobby but not with her; in fact, she moved to Mississippi. She did keep sending me e-mails every now and then, updates on where she was living, etc.

Long story short, Bobby also turned out to be a flake. He was an unreliable fuck-up and over time we could see why Betty dumped him. About a year later, he also dropped out of our lives and moved back into his dad's house in South Carolina. Last we heard, he's fixing cars for a living.

Now, my husband and I have moved to a new town. Out of the wild blue yonder, Betty e-mailed me asking if she can come visit us. I don't think she wants to stay in our house, although she says she doesn't know much about the place where we now live. I can't put my finger on why this makes me uncomfortable. My husband says we should let bygones be bygones. It's not like Betty ever did anything to offend us. But the thought of seeing her again makes my skin crawl a little. My question: Is this karma coming back to us for taking sides in their (ugly) break-up?

---- Couples Counseling

Your skin crawls because you now suspect you chose poorly in the divorce. If Betty was right all along, then maybe you were wrong -- and nobody likes to be wrong. At the same time, our gut feelings usually tell us more about a person than anything they say or do directly, even years after the fact. Cautiously welcome your former friend on her visit. Apologize for meddling, if the mood strikes you. But also keep an eye on the good silverware.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

On a dare, I adopted a cat from a roadside pet rescue stand. The cat's name is Katrina -- yes, just like the hurricane. I didn't name her, but the name fits. She has now destroyed two Armani suits in my closet, broken a $300 lamp and also shat or pissed on almost every surface in our three-story townhouse. My roommate is on the verge of moving out because of the cat. Even my mother has abandoned me: She says I deserve this for not thinking through the adoption more carefully. I can't sleep at night because I'm afraid she's destroy something else while I'm sleeping. What did I do to deserve this?

---- Katrina Refugee

We'll have to side with your smart mama on this one. Sounds like you were ill-prepared for this disaster, and even FEMA can't help you now. Maybe there was good reason this particular kitty was up for adoption in the first place?

Confession is good for the soul:

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