Landlady and pet-policy not going so well. Advice on what to do?

My landlady is pissed because my boyfriend surprised me with a five-month-old kitten for my 21st birthday a couple weeks ago. He wasn't aware of the rental agreement's no-pet policy (unless prior consent is obtained, which it wasn't). Honestly, I wasn't really aware of the rule either. I learned my... show more My landlady is pissed because my boyfriend surprised me with a five-month-old kitten for my 21st birthday a couple weeks ago. He wasn't aware of the rental agreement's no-pet policy (unless prior consent is obtained, which it wasn't). Honestly, I wasn't really aware of the rule either. I learned my lesson about fully reading contracts, because all she did was shove the paper at me and ask me to sign it. I just sort of glanced over it and signed it, because I'm a courteous person who always pays bills on time, and I didn't think I'd have any problems. Plus, the original ad said nothing about no pets, and she never mentioned it when we were going through the process of all the paperwork. The agreement is the only place the no pet thing has been mentioned. It wasn't in the ad and it wasn't on the application, nor did she mention it during the tour of the apartment, where she DID say that a previous owner's dog had scratched up the door, but failed to mention that I could not have pets.

She may or may not kick us out. She said she could have a notice on my door within three days, but I wasn't sure if she meant a notice to evacuate the premises or a notice to get rid of the cat... She told me to get rid of him, even though she has allowed other tenants the luxury of pet-owning. And seriously? The cat doesn't urinate or defecate on the floor, he doesn't scratch up the carpet, he doesn't make much noise unless I lock him in a room, he's had his shots and is scheduled for a neuter in a few weeks, and he causes no damage.

If he did, I'd pay for it, if he bothered the neighbors, I'd get rid of him, but the landlady doesn't even live on the premises. I can't understand why it's such a big deal. I'd be perfectly willing to pay a monthly fee and have random inspections of the apartment to check for damage, but she just wouldn't listen. I really don't want to get rid of him. He's been my companion and he's an extremely well-mannered, docile cat. Being a single mom and a full-time college student, getting kicked out and still having to pay the due amount would end my college career.

I'm trying to find a solution here. I still have about 8 months left in my agreement, and if she doesn't end up letting us keep him... my options are limited, and sacrifices will need to be made. I want to say that the cat isn't worth my education, and many of you would say the same. But it is true that many pets are like members of the family. The landlady wouldn't ask me to get rid of my child, would she? And while she's faulting me for breaking contract, she has broken contract as well. Under the "Owner's Responsibilities," it says that she is to keep all common areas of the premises in safe and sanitary condition. The bulbs were all broken for about a month and a half, so the halls were always dark, and I have never witnessed nor noticed any housekeeping going on in the halls. It gets filthier everyday. No lights? Not safe. No housekeeping or delegation of duties? Not sanitary. I doubt I'll want to stir up any legal matters, but would it be stupid of me to mention HER breach of contract if she decides to throw mine in my face again?

Thanks for any advice. Please no smart *** responses or put-downs. I'm 21, this is my first apartment, and I legitimately need some sound advice.
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