Obsession with cats

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Abi

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Obsession with cats
« on: September 05, 2019, 04:56:47 PM »
Hi everyone, my diagnosed NPD husband and his sister (very likely NPD, now low functioning) along with their mother have an obsession with cats - they talk about them, love them above all others, talk badly about dogs (almost, hate) - and Iím sorry I would just laugh at that if it wasnít so OTT, and are generally obsessive about them ina creepy way.  There were no tears when the father died 2 years ago, but there was when they almost had to get rid of one of the cats.

Is this something usual?  It really puzzles me.

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SerenityCat

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 08:49:28 PM »
Welcome Abi!

I don't know if a cat focus is over-represented in people with personality disorders.

In the small sample of my own experience, some people love cats and some do not. Some don't even really have cats on their radar at all. I have an uPD sister who has hoarded cats in the past. Another uPD family member is a dog person, they don't relate to cats.

Maybe in general it can be said that some people with PDs lack empathy with their fellow human beings. They instead focus on pets, cars, sports, etc.

I myself grieve differently for cats than humans. I'm a cat person.  :) I don't have a PD. Grief can be expressed in so many ways.

If you like, can you tell us more about how this cat obsession plays out?  Is it pretty much their only topic of conversation? I can imagine that this would be very frustrating.

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11JB68

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2019, 01:17:37 AM »
IMO out may not be the subject off the obsession, but 'an obsession' that's the issue. Especially with certain PDs (e.g. OCPD in particular) obsessive behavior can be common.

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Abi

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2019, 04:27:04 AM »
Thanks so much for your replies, Iíd never really thought about the obsession part of it, which I can see now could be the issue.
I was also wondering if it was something to do with the nature of animals that could be the cause ie non judgemental, subservient (in a way), always there but not too demanding (and not as demanding of your affection as a dog would be).
The cats they have are pretty aggressive (biters), but they really gloss over this (maybe black and white thinking), and itís the only topic they talk about to each other... they donít seem to have anything else to talk about (there would literally just be silence when theyíre together)..

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TriedTooHard

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2019, 02:35:47 PM »
Good point about the obsession being more of the issue than the object of obsession.

I also believe that its similar to how certain dysfunctional people are drawn to helpless disabled people and/or young children.  Not to say that all people who work with the disabled, children and animals are dysfunctional, but leaders in those industries unfortunately have to be aware of people who show an interest for the wrong reasons.

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NotFooled

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 05:04:19 PM »
I was married to a NPD in my first marriage and he and his family were obsessed about cats.  His brother was diagnosed paranoid Schizophrenic and was also obsessed with cats and they all hated dogs.  It was weird.  Their mom would have the pets cremated and keep the urns of the cats. 

Personally I'm an animal lover and have both.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2019, 01:22:03 PM »
There is actually a weird real like sÁie tifically described cat mental illness caused by plasmo something or another micro organisms.  Their life cycle includes rodents, cats and humans.  In the end humans are psychologically programmed to be obsessed about cats, the rats are also programmed to be around cats which they should otherwise be wary of. Cats are infected and then infect humans.

Life is scary .

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clara

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019, 01:45:43 PM »
I had a casual friend with a psychological disorder that could have been a type of PD variant, I could never quite make out what her issues were, but she, too, was obsessed with cats.  Before that, it was fish.  She had over a dozen cats, and literally cared more for them than any  human being in her life, including her husband.  She even told me outright that she preferred her cats to people, and the only thing I could figure was she had trouble relating to people so instead formed relationships with animals.  She could control them and she was someone who tried to exert very tight control over things in her life.  Since the outside world isn't so easy to control, nor are other people, she focused on the cats.  Over time she still had her husband but almost no friends and seldom saw her family.  And it seemed that was exactly what she wanted.

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FromTheDeep

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2019, 06:48:56 PM »
I joke that since I extracted myself from my parentís home, Iíve been replaced by the cats. My parents genuinely love them but my uBPD motherís need for control extends at them as:
- the cats are not allowed to come and go freely, they spend long time locked up
- they were put on a leash (cat on a leash, right?) until it turned out that the cats will still try to jump the fence and may hurt themselves in the process
- a seriously sick cat will not be put down, they cling to it, medicate it couple of times a day and run blood tests. The border between love for an animal and inability to let go for selfish reasons is rather blurry.

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Spygirl

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2019, 11:28:33 PM »
Lol,

I just have to jump in here. I could be a "crazy cat lady" i am not a PD, per my psychologist.

BUT, i certainly used cats as an excuse to isolate myself from my PDexh abuse. It was a safe place. How many of us hid in our jobs? Our kids? Those animals needed me and showed appreciation for my care. I got affection from them. They were a legitimate excuse to get away from him and his drinking while i was married. They were not violent and i had no fear with them. They are not judgemental.

I agree that pets can be an area of control. A person can also get buried and obsessed with it.  Just like video games, club activities, church, bar hopping, television, eating, ect.  If you are a trauma victim, as i am, or have difficulty with human relationships, as many people are, pets are a refuge. PD or not.

If you were to take the time to ask any person who does charity work why they became involved, you would discover  that most of them have survived TRAUMA, and being empathetic  people, they will often reach out to help others in that chosen area of experience, just as we do here.

So, i have 6 cats. Half i had during my marriage.  3 more that were disabled and unwanted by "normal people" so i ended up with them rather than  thier lives being ended. They are broken, like me. They still love and want love, like me. You can call that crazy. I call it putting my energy someplace without FOG.  I happily clean litterboxes twice a day and live in peace. Have friends, social events, and keep a clean home and person.
Its not selfishness, its a refuge of care where there is no rejection.  Take a wider view.

Btw, dogs are ok too. Just more like havinf a kid, and i dont have that kind of time, lol!

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Hattie

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 02:37:41 PM »
I think animals can be a source of secure attachment for those of us with insecure attachment issues (both narcissists and codependents). My uN/BPDx doted on our cat, which seemed pretty harmless to me (I do too!  ;D) however, it all got a bit weird when we broke up  and I got custody of the cat, as he got really paranoid that I was trying to hurt /sell the cat. Which needless to say wasn't true...
Love is patient; love is kind.
It does not envy; it does not boast.
It is not proud. It does not dishonour others.
It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

1 Corinthians 13: 5-8.

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tommom

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2019, 03:07:44 PM »
My PDh is also a little weird about one of our three cats. We rescued this one at about two weeks old, abandoned, perhaps, by his mother. He is now 17 or 18. When we found him, we called the pet ER and they kindly explained what to do, we did and he thrived. Weird thing was that I divided up the kitten feeding chores. I would get up (since he couldn't be depended on to) and made up formula and warmed it and loaded a syringe. I would wake him up so he could feed the cat, clean him up and put him back. I often went back to sleep before he was finished. The cat developed (like a duck might) a bond with my H. Weird, kind of. Cat is THRILLED when H comes in. Talks to him, very 'verbal', sleeps on him, follows him around, etc. Now my H's attachment to him is OTT. If he talks about how old the cat is, he starts to cry. Sometimes is just so 'touched' by how much he loves the cat, he will get all emotional. We have three cats - he calls one of them "my cat". Hasn't got the same attachment. I think in his narcissism, he relates to the cat through that filter of: The cat loves ME!!!! Some sort of supply to them. And their love IS unconditional. (You feed them after all, right?)

I suspect there may be something similar going on with your PD family members.

I also love our cats, all three of them, and I often find them comforting(like any of the pets I have had...okay, not goldfish or turtles....). I have read articles suggesting that they can help a person reduce stress, etc. through just sitting with them,or petting them...so loving (not obsessing over) your pet does make sense in a self-care sort of way. Not what my H (or it sounds like your family, too) is doing.
"It is not my job to fix other people; everyone is on their own journey."

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MamaDryad

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Re: Obsession with cats
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2020, 10:29:14 PM »
I'm very fond of cats, as is my PD mother. But I realized something really messed up a few years ago: she's always had cats in pairs, and in each pair, there has been a Golden Cat and a Scape Cat. She always has one who is a perfect brilliant angel who understands her perfectly and one who is stupid and can't do anything right.

Last time I was in touch, the current SG cat had taken to using my mom's bathtub as a litter box. I like her style.