Cats who stare at drains.


Sheldon, my tuxedo cat, loves to stare at drains. It makes me laugh every time he does it. He takes it very seriously though. When he stares at a drain, he’s totally focused on that drain and whatever is happening with it. He sits there motionless but from time to time cocks his head from side to side, as if pondering why. Sometimes he’ll even tentatively extend a white-mittened paw toward it, but if there’s water there, he quickly moves it away, flicking the water off. But his intent focus remains. His eyes never leave that drain.

I love this video of a Bobcat growling at a bathtub drain.

My son’s dogs.

My son posted these pictures of his doggies on Twitter.

Sammy, the Australian Shepherd.

Max, the longhaired Chihuahua.

Personality disordered dogs?


While there aren’t official psychiatric diagnoses for dogs, I think dogs (and other pet animals) can and do develop psychiatric conditions, including the canine equivalent of the personality disorders. As in humans, “personality disorders” in dogs develop when a dog has been abused or neglected, usually in puppyhood. Neglecting a dog is just as bad as abusing it, because they are social creatures who need “mirroring” from their humans and regular social interaction. Without these things, a dog can become aggressive, aloof, or learn to fear everything and everyone. Since disturbed dogs do not make good pets, they are usually euthanized.

Because dogs and other pets aren’t capable of higher level reasoning, there’s no doggie equivalent of a “false self,” gaslighting, triangulation, or splitting, but we do find manipulative, attention-seeking, unpleasant behaviors.

Here’s an article about the behavioral problems dogs can develop. Next to each item, I’ve named the personality disorder that would be the human equivalent for that behavior.


Problem dogs usually exhibit difficulties with:

Selfishness and Aggressiveness: Some dogs aggressively guard their food and possessions, and bite any dog or human foolish enough to challenge them. Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Impulsiveness: Some dogs are very impulsive. They impulsively run off chasing after something at the slightest provocation. Often this behavior either gets them lost or run over by a car. Antisocial or Borderline Personality Disorder

Dominance: Some dogs are very dominant and literally control their submissive owners. You will see these dogs pulling their owners around on a leash, or involved in some other power struggle with their owner. Antisocial or Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Fear or Wariness: Some dogs are very fearful and wary of strangers. Some fearful, shy dogs eventually learn to trust their owner. However, other fearful dogs never learn to trust their owner and remain wary, aloof and distant. Schizoid, Avoidant, or Dependent Personality Disorder

Separation Anxiety: Some dogs become hysterical when their owner leaves them. They howl or tear up furniture in a fearful rage. Some dogs bloody themselves trying to paw through walls or smash through glass doors trying to reunite with their owners. Borderline Personality Disorder

Attention-Seeking: Some dogs constantly demand attention from their owner. Yet the more attention the owner gives these dogs, the more excited and attention-seeking they become. The end result is that these demanding dogs are always jumping up on their owners or otherwise pestering their owner for more attention. Borderline, Histrionic, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Lack Of Affection: Owners want an affectionate dog that loves them. Unfortunately, some dogs never warm up to their owner and remain aloof and cold. In addition, other dogs never learn to trust their owner, and remain suspicious and isolated. Paranoid, Schizoid or Avoidant Personality Disorder

Read more about animal psychological disorders:

My cat is missing. :(

Not a good picture, but the best one of him I could find. He’s always moving, so it’s hard to get a good shot.

In the past 4 months, the number of cats living with me has gone from 5 (plus one dog) to just 2. In July, Chunks passed away suddenly, and then Mr. Biggles, Babycat, and Dexter (the dog) all went to live with my daughter and her fiance. My housemate, Stacey, took her cat Isaiah to Florida with her last month (and by the way, I’m still looking for another housemate–the guy who was here moved to the upstairs apartment).

Now Sheldon, my tuxedo cat, has been gone for two days. Stacey actually trained him to come when he’s called and since she left, whenever I call him in for the night, he comes running. So I know something’s wrong because he didn’t come home last night, and wasn’t here in this morning and still isn’t back. 😦 I’ve called and called him, and looked everywhere and he’s nowhere to be seen. I’m starting to get really worried. Sheldon has lived with me for 4 years, going on 5, and while it’s not the first time he’s been gone this long, it’s the first time since Stacey was here.
So everyone, please keep Sheldon in your prayers that he returns safely.

ETA: About two hours after I posted this, Sheldon showed up wanting dinner! Now I’m gonna kill him.
Thanks, everyone! 🙂

I want a Siamese cat.


My roommate, Stacey, took her cat Isaiah to Florida with her (she never texted me to let me know she got there safely, so I hope she did), and now I’m down to just two: my little huntress Cleo, and my black and white tuxedo cat, Sheldon. Both are outdoors most of the time (that’s not really my choice, but once you let a cat go out, it’s almost impossible to make them indoor-only) and it almost feels like a cat-less house now.

A year ago I still had 5 cats AND a dog. That was too many animals in this small house, but it’s a far cry from only two cats around.

I can tell the cats miss Isaiah. When they are in the house, they walk around as if searching for someone and sit around and meow plaintively, as if asking me where he is. Of course they have short memories and will soon forget he was here, but I know they miss him (even though he and Sheldon used to occasionally get into spats over who was the “alpha male”).

My new roommate, a gay man my age named Kevin, moved in yesterday. He seems very nice. He was the only person who answered my ad that I felt comfortable talking to, and he’s introverted like me. He seems to like the room. He doesn’t have any pets but he likes cats (he isn’t a fan of dogs so I guess I won’t be getting one of those).

I’m thinking of getting a Siamese cat–not a young kitten, but an older one, or a young cat who’s already been spayed or neutered and had all its shots. There are always ads on Craigslist (a lot of people can’t deal with all the talking they do), and some of the Siamese I’ve seen are absolutely gorgeous.

I’ve wanted a Siamese for a long time, but held off because I already had too many cats. The only problem would be keeping him indoors (I prefer a male) since my other two cats always want to go outside. But with the colder weather coming, Cleo and Sheldon may want to be indoors more, and maybe an active and talkative new cat might tempt them to stay in.
I think a Siamese might help lift my mood a little too. They’re very intelligent and affectionate and you can almost have a conversation with them.

This video always makes me smile. These two Siamese are VERY upset about their person taking a shower and not paying attention to THEM. 😆

Sometimes a dog.

I wish I’d snapped a picture of Khyna while under my care, but this photo of another dog looks very much like her.

Sometimes an animal, in this case a beautiful German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix, can turn your day around and make you realize what is really important.

All morning a strange golden dog with pointed ears had been nosing around my yard. She sat on my porch whimpering and started to scratch at the door. I looked outside to see what was going on, and I saw her sitting there at the door, looking at me with sad brown eyes. She started to whine a little, and then got up and walked around my porch, looking confused.

I squatted down in front of her. She seemed friendly. Definitely someone’s pet. I noticed she was wearing a collar with some metal tags. Her name and address was embossed on one of the tags: Khyna (pronounced Keena) allowed me to look, and then licked my face! She needed me help her get home. For some reason, she (or God) had chosen me!

I noticed the address was in a new development up the road, not far away at all. I happened to have a retractable leash that we had used for Dexter (who never could learn to walk on a leash properly) and Khyna sat down obediently while I attached it to her collar.

I liked this dog. I decided that if the owners didn’t want her anymore, I would clean her up (she was all muddy from having been out in the nonstop rain) and take her in until other arrangements could be made, or I might just decide to keep her myself.

We walked together in the pouring rain. I didn’t even mind the gloom or getting wet. Khyna stayed right by my side, not pulling on the leash or hanging back. She stayed slightly ahead, as if leading me, even though I knew now where she lived.

We turned into the development and she moved a little faster. I think she recognized we were close to her home. As we approached the cul-de-sac where her owner’s home was, a man pulled up in a Jeep and rolled down the window. He was grinning like he won the Lotto.

“OH MY GOD! You found Khyna! My wife has been worried sick about her. I just bought her flowers to cheer her up but now I can give her the flowers and Khyna back too!”
“She’s a beautiful dog. Very sweet too,” I said.
“That she is,” the man said proudly. I could tell these people loved this dog and she had just gotten lost and come to me for help getting home.
“How long has she been gone?”
“Since last night around 8 PM. She likes to run off sometimes.”
The man pulled into his driveway and I unhooked Khyna from her leash. She bounded off into the open garage as the man opened the side door for her to go in the house.
He turned back to me. “Thank you so much. You have no idea how much this means to us.”


There was no cash reward, but the happiness and look of relief on the man’s face was all the reward I needed. And his wife would be happy too.
I walked home through the rain, feeling like I’d just won a million dollars. The sun might as well have been shining.
Sometimes doing something kind for a stranger can turn depression around.
Especially if it involves an animal.

7 common habits of narcissistic pet lovers

Here’s a humorous look at the 7 ways narcissists can be AWESOME pet parents. This listicle from isn’t intended to be taken TOO seriously, but there’s truth here too.

My malignant narcissist ASPD ex, who should be locked away and not allowed to get within 100 feet of any human, is actually the first person I would trust with my kitties should I ever have to leave them for a few days. He despises people (and admits it) but seems to genuinely love animals.

7 Common Habits of Narcissistic Pet Lovers
Wonder if it’s possible to love your pet and be a narcissist? Of course it is!
By Leslie Phelan


There is a misconception about narcissists that says they’re way too into themselves to properly love an animal companion, but there’s a special breed of narcissist whose condition includes room for animal love. Sound like you or someone you know? Read on:

Narcissists love two things: themselves, and anything that could be used as extensions of themselves. What better self-extension than a cute and adorable furry thing that will love you back unconditionally?

Do you express love for your pet in a way that might look to others like evidence of an overly narcissistic lean within your personality? Observe yourself (you know you want to); and see if any of these key narcissistic pet lover indicators point at gorgeous little you:

1. Is your appearance everything?
Do you try on three different jacket-hat combos before stepping out, even to the park? Do you color-coordinate the dog’s collar with your scarf?

2. Are you obsessed with your own reflection?
Do you hold your cat in your arms over the bathroom vanity and compare the flecks in your eyeball irises for extended periods? When you walk past windows with your dog on leash, are you always glancing sideways to admire how lovely and magazine-ready you two look?

3. Do you use your pet as a prop to justify yet another selfie?
You know the drill: scoop up the animal, pose pretty, take a few snaps, choose the best one and post it with a caption about the animal, when really it’s to show off how adorable you look WITH said animal. C’mon . . . we’ve all been here. And the pics are priceless.

4. Do you make everything about you?
Do you listen with the intent to respond, more than with the intent to understand? When someone is talking about a cute thing their pet does, are you bursting at the seams to trump their story with a better, cuter, more special story about your own?


5. Do you bring your pet along, even at less-than-appropriate times?
Most people will agree that it’s the more the merrier when it comes to dogs at parties, but do you ever find yourself purposefully ignoring hints that you maybe shouldn’t bring your pet along?
Of course you want to bring your pet because, well, attention! Plus, you don’t want to rush home if you had to leave your dog behind due to that person’s silly baby with the possible dander allergies. Pfft, the kid’s gotta get used to dog hair sooner or later . . .

6. Are you loud?
Are you constantly standing on a soapbox because you actually think people care about yours and your pets’ diets/favorite shows/the glowing review your yoga instructor gave you? Do you have loud, full conversations with your dog for all to hear? (Bonus points if you do it in another language, or in a sing-song voice.)

7. Is everyone a potential rival?
Do you get jealous if you hear another person in the park compliment someone’s dog before yours? Do you feel like you and your pet are in constant competition with your friends, relatives and their pets? Be honest: is no one safe from your sense of rivalry?


This is not a place of judgment; any honest pet owner wont pretend they haven’t teetered on the brink of most of these points a few times. A bit of narcissism can be good, it keeps us caring for ourselves and can make us our best selves! Embrace it, but try not to burn up too much of your energy trying to be the hottest, richest, cleverest, most stylish, most popular and successful person in the world…

Instead, focus on being the most humble, courteous, patient, kind and complimentary person you can be. Or, likewise, just be the person your pet thinks you are – that person is pretty exceptional.

How my NPD/ASPD control freak ex used a dog to gaslight me.


In 2011, when my parasitic MN/ASPD ex was still living on my couch, he decided he wanted a dog.

We already had a dog, Dexter, who was an awesome black lab mix (he lives with my daughter and her fiance now). The house I live in (and lived in then) is tiny. At the time, we had Dexter and 5 cats. Far too many animals for a two bedroom house, but these were pets I cared about, so I wasn’t too bothered by the overpopulation problem in the house.

But oh no, a dog and five cats wasn’t enough for the Parasite (which is his new name as far as I’m concerned so that’s who he’ll be from now on). No, he had to have his OWN dog, one that HE picked. I told him we had no room for another pet, and it was already too expensive feeding and taking care of the ones we had (remember, he contributed nothing financially since he refused to work so all their expenses fell on me) but he couldn’t see reason.
Instead, he whined petulantly, “But Dexter needs a playmate!”
Dexter did not need a playmate. Parasite needed some easy narcissistic supply.

A few weeks passed and Parasite gaslighted me by telling me and everyone else who would listen that “Lauren hates animals” because I put my foot down about getting a new puppy.

One day I came home from work and found Parasite slumped on the couch that had a huge valley in the center from his constant inert and hateful presence, and in his arms was a puppy. A Jack Russell puppy.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Jack Russells, they’re a cute beagle-like breed of hunting dog but they have serious ADHD and need to be able to run as much as they want. They bark a lot and are just extremely hyper. They are difficult to train because they’re so stubborn. They may be fine for a family with kids who lives on a farm or has acres of land for the dog to run, but they are definitely NOT the kind of dog that would do well in a small apartment or house with only a smallish unfenced yard. They are not the kind of dog to have if you live in a suburban development where the neighbors are no more than 40 feet away.

I hate Jack Russells. (But I love dogs).

But it looked like we had one, at least for the moment.
I told him to take it back wherever he got it.
“Oh, but he’s so cuuuuuuuuuute! Look at him!” (said in low-register baby talk)
I roll my eyes. “Yes, he’s very cute, but we have too many pets already, and I can’t afford to feed him too.”
“Oh, he won’t be expensive to feed. Dexter needs a friend!” He shoves the the puppy up in my face. “LOOOOOOOK at him, he LOOOOOVES you. Isn’t he CUUUUUTE?”
I see red. He isn’t listening. Again. He never listens. He never cares about anyone but himself. I tell him this.

He projects and gaslights. “No, YOU’RE the one who only thinks about yourself. You don’t care about animals. You only think about YOU! You don’t care about MEEEE. I have diabetes and mental problems and a bad knee and I have to live here on your couch and don’t have my own home and it’s always too hot or cold in here and you buy crappy food and now you’re telling me I can’t have a dog who won’t be any bother to you at all.”
I stare daggers at him. I can feel the lava of BPD rage boiling in my gut. I try to stay calm. I count to ten.
“I want you to take him back.”
Maybe pleasantry might help. “Please take the puppy back.”
“No, and if you dare try to take him to the shelter, I’ll kill myself and make it look like a murder.”

“What will you do if I don’t?” He’s baiting me. He has me on the spot. There’s nothing I could do or would do, and he knows it. He’s in complete control.
“Uh…I don’t know….But I’LL FIND SOMETHING!”
“You’d probably have Barnaby (he already picked a name) put to sleep,” he says, fake pouting. “You hate animals, you have no compassion or you’d let me keep him.”
I give up and leave the room, but out of the corner of my eye see Parasite holding Barnaby up to his face and telling him in that infuriating fake-masculine baby talk what a “meanie” I am.


So Barnaby stayed. For two years. I never hated a dog before, but I hated this one. He chewed everything, the furniture, the rugs, important papers, my favorite book. Once he ate an entire pack of cigarettes and vomited them up all over the chewed up and shredded rugs. He pissed and shat everywhere, up until he was a year old. Parasite kept making excuses for him such as “but he’s only a PUPPEEE!” or shifting the blame to me–“you’re so impatient!” Not only did I hate him because he was so out of control, I hated him because Parasite refused to train him and that dog represented to me everything bad about the Parasite himself. Every time I saw that dog, it reminded me of how controlled, intimidated and powerless I had become.

Barnaby barked and howled nonstop. Morning, noon and night. Once he got a taste of the great outdoors, he decided this was something he couldn’t live without, so running away for hours at a time was a weekly occurrence, and eventuall a daily occurrence.
But running away wasn’t all he did. Oh, no. If he’d run away and never returned there’d be no love lost.

But he’d run into neighbors’ backyards. He’d devour their gardens, then sit there and howl for hours. You’d go try to catch him, and the little demon would run. It was a game to him. He’d run, then sit down and look at you, waiting for you to make a move. You’d lunge after him, and he’d bound off again, then sit down and look at you, teasing you and daring you. He was too fast, I could never catch him. And Parasite wouldn’t try. It was up to me to get him to come back. And I never could.
I’d go to bed and hear him howling somewhere nearby and wonder what the hell I was going to do.

Soon the neighbors were mad at us for allowing our out of control dog to keep them up all night and ruin their yards. Animal Control was called twice. The second time, I answered the door when they came, and when they told me there’d be a fine if it happened again, I told them they were free to take him, I couldn’t handle him. But Parasite was home, and intercepted, promising he’d be good and it wouldn’t happen again. Animal Control left. Barnaby stayed.

The next night, Barnaby ran off and howled in another neighbor’s yard. Animal control came and took him away. Parasite was inconsolable at first, then his grief morphed into rage. He threatened me: “You go get that dog back tomorrow.”
“I don’t have the money.”
“You’re lying. Do it or I’ll kill myself. And make it look like you did it.”
I used my week’s entire paycheck to go retrieve Demon Dog from the shelter, leaving us without food that week (which Parasite of course complained about).

This time, Parasite actually had the presence of mind to build a makeshift fence from steel beams where Barnaby could be confined. So although he continued to chew everything in sight and bark too much (and still seemed to have problems containing his bowels) he seemed calmer in his grassy kingdom and the howling ceased.

But this didn’t last. Barnaby was smart. One night Barnaby dug his way out from under the pen and I heard the distant howling.
I couldn’t do this anymore. I remembered Parasite’s threat. But sometimes frustration or anger can override fear, and I reasoned that it was probably an empty threat anyway, since he rarely had followed through on any of his past threats.
I was going to place an ad on Craigslist.
But Parasite had an announcement of his own.
“I don’t want Barnaby anymore,” he said.
I just stared at him stupidly.

A week later Barnaby went to live with a family that answered our ad on Craigslist. The man who came to get him said he had five acres of land and 4 kids, and they’d always wanted a Jack Russell.


My daughter’s 3 1/2 month old kitten Zelda was climbing the walls today.



Update on Mr. Biggles.

I wrote about Mr. Biggles in this article; he had to be rehomed several months ago (along with my black lab mix, Dexter) because I simply didn’t have the space for so many kitties or the time to devote to my dog, who was alone in the house all day (I wound up keeping Cleo here). I gave Mr. Biggles and Dexter to my ex for awhile because he is always home (that is one thing I can trust him with–animals), but now he is living with my daughter and her boyfriend and seems to be thriving. If anything, he’s fatter and hairier than ever.

That’s my daughter holding Mr. Biggles.