My animal hoarder ex.

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My ex, a malignant narcissist who has been diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder, is an animal hoarder.

When we were married, at one point we had 15 cats. I was always too embarrassed to tell anyone how many we had because it was way too many for us to afford or care for properly, and it just sounded crazy to say you had that many cats.

I’ve always loved cats and always kept a few around whenever I could, but my ex thought it was his duty to bring home any stray kitten he found–and he always seemed to find them (or maybe they found him). I really think it was about control though, not a real love for animals. He knew I disapproved of having so many cats (and the lion’s share of their care and litter box cleanup fell on my shoulders, of course) so he’d bring them home just to annoy me. When I objected, he’d gaslight me by telling me I was an animal hater, which is far from the truth. I tried to reason with him, telling him that we weren’t helping these animals by having so many and that we were unable to give them the proper care and attention.

As much as I love cats, in the double digits (or even upper single digits), they are no longer much fun. Cats hate being overcrowded and cat fights in our house were a daily occurrence. On top of this, “Michael” wouldn’t allow them to go outside (though sometimes they escaped anyway, probably just to get some space). We kept 7 litter boxes (about 1 box per 2 cats) and they had to be cleaned daily and changed every other day. Vacuuming was constant; I had to vacuum the entire house twice a day due to the enormous amounts of cat hair and the litter tracked in from the litter box area on the screened in porch. In the summer, because the porch would get so hot, the boxes would be swarming with flies and sometimes I even found maggots in them. The cats hated that and several began to do their business outside the litter boxes, requiring a lot of poop pick up.

The cats were unhappy and several didn’t look too healthy either. We didn’t have the money to take them all to the vet, so we started reading on the Internet about how to give vaccinations and medical care ourselves. Veterinary supplies, including injections, were purchased at a local feed store that catered mainly to farmers and people who kept domestic livestock.

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The house smelled terrible, no matter how much I tried to keep on top of it. I couldn’t invite anyone to the house. Many times I tried to talk to Michael about the situation, but he always refused to listen and we always wound up fighting. Our kids were small at that time and of course since kids love animals (and Michael tried to turn them into miniature flying monkeys against me anyway), they’d cry when I threatened to give some of them away.

After our divorce in 2005, Michael moved in with his girlfriend, a pillhead who had 2 large dogs–a pitbull and a mixed breed. Soon they had 8 dogs, most of whom were kept in large cages most of the time since they both worked and the dogs were never housetrained. When you went to their house, you had to make sure you didn’t step in dog poop. It smelled like hell. On top of that, Michael had brought along the 5 remaining cats (I wasn’t allowed to have them in my apartment at the time) and then adopted several more. He also became interested in bearded dragons but had no idea how to care for them properly and most of them died.

When Michael lived with me, he adopted a Jack Russell/Beagle mix he named Barnaby. I told that story in my article, How My ASPD Ex Used a Dog to Gaslight Me. Again, I had no say over the dog even though it was the worst behaved, most destructive dog I ever met. We only got rid of him because Michael himself decided he didn’t want the dog anymore (after we were threatened with a fine for the dog disturbing the neighbors for the third time in a row).
He always had to have the last word. He’s a class A control freak.

He’s hoarding animals again. He already has 4 cats and a dog. That’s not so bad, but I’m sure there will be more as time goes on.

Sometimes a dog.

german_shepherd_mix
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.”

galatians_5_13

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.

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

jack_russel_puppy

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.”
“No.”
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.”

The BPD volcano erupts. “YOU’RE A F&%KING ASSHOLE! TAKE THAT GODDAM DOG BACK TOMORROW, YOU STUPID FREAK!”
“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.

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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.

Dexter at home in his new home.

Dexter has been living with my daughter and her boyfriend now for over a month. I think he looks very chill and happy.

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Click photo to enlarge.

Downsizing the menagerie.

Today I will be rehoming my dog, Dexter and two of my cats–Mr. Biggles and Cleo. I wrote about all my pets back in November in this post.

Some of you may be shocked or even upset with me that the person who is taking them is none other than my MN ex. You may assume I don’t care about my pets or that I am a terrible pet owner for allowing this. But there’s a few practical and even good reasons I made the decision to let him take my dog and two of my cats.

1. My ex, in spite of his terrible treatment of people (women in particular) has always been very kind to animals. I have never known him to be cruel to any animal and in fact he has more patience with them than I do. Even psychopathic malignant narcissists like him may have their good points–a small uncorrupted part of their soul that sticks out from the mass of malignancy like a blade of grass sticking out of a pile of dog crap.

2. Mr. Biggles was his cat (my ex was the one who brought him home originally) and he was always more attached to him than I was. In fact, Biggles was his favorite.

3. Cleo would be living in a more remote area that is less close to the main roads than I am (my ex finally found a place to live and it’s nice). She’s an indoor/outdoor cat (who prefers the outdoors) and will be less likely to be hit by a car.

4. Dexter was initially my ex’s dog (he adopted him too) and frankly, I’m more of a cat person than a dog person which means I don’t give Dexter the attention he requires or play with him as much as I should. Lately he’s been whining a lot and acting neurotic due to the lack of attention but I just don’t have enough interest or time (because I work all day) to spend more time interacting with him, although I do try. My ex was always very attached to Dexter and I know will spend more time playing with him than I do. He’s also on disability so is home all the time.
He also has a fenced in area in the back of the house that I do not. Dexter needs to run, and I can’t afford to have my yard fenced in right now.

5. Not that I really give a damn about my ex’s feelings anymore, but having these 3 animals he already knows well would make him happy. I’m a nice person.

6. Living in a 2-bedroom house, I have more pets than I can practically afford or maintain. This will bring the number down to three cats.

7. The cats would be happier if there weren’t so many of them crammed into a small place like this. They like their space and are invading each others’ boundaries!

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Cleo.

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Mr. Biggles.

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Dexter.

It’s not without some sadness I will be saying goodbye to Cleo, Mr. Biggles and Dexter today. I love all three of them and will miss them, but I know this is the right decision and that they will be okay. If I knew they would be treated badly or ignored, I would not be parting with them.

How to be happy!

dog_happy

If only it were so easy.

Dogs are awesome teachers, friends, and therapists. They never worry, they’ll never mindfuck you, they will never lie to you, they live for the moment and enjoy simple things, they’re loyal and protective, they will listen to all your problems without judging or putting you down, and no matter how bad you think you’ve been, they still love you unconditionally.

Do psychopaths hate cats?

dogs-and-cats

Based on a search term from today, “psychopaths hate cats” I decided to Google that search term myself and found this article, which I’ll reprint here.

http://research.personality-testing.info/are-psychopaths-dog-people/

British journalist Jon Ronson is obsessed with obsessives. He’s best known for writing the book behind the George Clooney film “The Men Who Stare At Goats.” In his latest book, Jon Ronson has turned his own obsessive eye toward psychopaths. The book is called “The Psychopath Test.”
[………………..]

One of the stranger characteristics of psychopaths is their choice of pets. Ronson says they are almost never cat people. “Because cats are willful,” he explains.
Psychopaths gravitate toward dogs since they are obedient and easy to manipulate. Ronson says he spoke with individuals who would qualify as psychopaths who told him they aren’t sad when they hear about people dying. “But they get really upset when their dogs die because dogs offer unconditional love.”

I was unable to find the justification for this claim with some searching and as such specific statements never tend to be very true, I thought this one should be put to the test.

To this end, I appended the question
If you had to choose, what would you describe yourself as?
A ‘dog person’.
A ‘cat person’.
I don’t want to answer.
to the end of the Psychopathy Scale as a “research item”. The scale is short questionnaire used for the study of psychopathy in adult populations. It can not diagnose psychopathy, but it correlates very well with the Hare Psychopathy Checklist which can. In measures two scales: primary psychopathy (things like arrogance, manipulativeness, callousness, lying) and secondary psychopathy (things like irresponsibility, impulsiveness, lack of long-term goals and boredom proneness).

Here are the results.

Answer Primary psychopathy Secondary psychopathy #
Dog person 2.44 2.67 304
Cat person 2.54 2.84 283
Didn’t answer 2.92 2.94 102

As can be seen, dog people actually scored lower for both dimensions of psychopathy than cat people, although not by much. The claim would appear to be wrong.

Some weeks ago I wrote my article, “Psychopaths and Pets” about the the way psychopaths treat animals (basically, as extensions of themselves).

Do dogs go to heaven?

This is the first time I am reblogging a post I disagree with. I respect this blogger’s religious beliefs and I’m a Christian, but sometimes the crazy on this blog is off the charts, with all its hellfire and brimstone pontifications and nutty conspiracy theories about things like the Illuminati. He has a vendetta against Catholics and I do have a problem with that.

I follow his blog anyway because of its WTF factor. I never commented on any of this blogger’s posts before but I couldn’t let this one pass.

When I look into the eyes of my dog (or any dog, or cat for that matter) I see love, pain, shame, joy, sadness, fear– the whole gamut of emotions humans experience there. They must have a soul. I think animals automatically go to heaven because they do not have free will.
Besides, Heaven without pets in it would be hell to me.

Psychopaths and pets

pitbull

There’s been a lot written about the devastating effect psychopaths have on other people, but what about their pets? Do psychopaths even have enough empathy to keep pets?

Unfortunately, yes they do. But for them, pets are a means to an end, a creature that can be exploited in various ways that serve the psychopath, rather than a friend and companion. A pet can be a way to “keep up with the Joneses” (if most of their neighbors and relatives have pets). They have no genuine love for the animals under their care, and often treat them badly or even abuse them. Here is an article I just read last night where the blogger calls out his MN sister about the callous way she puts her cat to sleep because she’s moving, even though there’s nothing wrong with the cat. Later the blogger describes the cruel manner in which the woman’s two beautiful dogs are left outside on a chain even in the searing heat or freezing cold, and are never played with or paid attention to. Eventually, this cold woman tells her brother she will be having her depressed but otherwise healthy golden retriever put down “because he’s old.”

I remember when we lived in a trailer park for about a year, some of our neighbors treated their animals very badly. I don’t know if it was just ignorance (most of the people living in the trailer park were not too well educated) or if we had a surplus of psychopaths living around us, but I remember one poor dog in particular. In fact, this dog was a black lab/Doxie mix who was the sister of my dog, Dexter (who we acquired from a family who lived in another trailer in that park).

Rain or shine, snow or sleet, or on the hottest days of summer, that poor dog was left outside attached to a clanking metal chain in the driveway. The few times I saw anyone interacting with that dog was when the owner, a raging drunk whose wife had called the police on a number of occasions for abusing her, would kick the dog or yell at him. I would have called the police, but was afraid of the repercussions, and also the dog had become so aggressive I knew no one would adopt her and she would have been put down. Maybe that would have been the best thing for her though, but I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time, being embroiled in my own mess with my own psychopath. I did try to interact with the poor dog occasionally, but she would just bare her teeth and growl. I would look at my Dexter, with his sweet, affectionate personality, and think of what his poor sister could have been had she been cared for by loving owners. I have no doubt that owner was a psychopath. Anyone acting that cruel toward his pet is someone without much or any empathy. A person who just dislikes animals would not have a pet at all, not keep one around just to abuse it. The owner probably kept the dog for “protection.” Why else have one?

dogoutside
Is this dog’s owner a psychopath?

In fact, you see that a lot. There are many people who keep a dog, usually an “aggressive” breed such as a Rottweiler or Pitt Bull, as a method of security. No one will try to break into a house or trespass if there is a barking, aggressive dog present. People who keep dogs as a form of security aren’t necessarily psychopathic though. A normal person who keeps a dog for such a reason will still play with the animal and be affectionate toward it when it’s not “on duty.” But if the animal is ignored, or left outside all the time, that’s a different story. Whenever you read or hear a heartbreaking story about a vulnerable animal being neglected or abused, you can bet it’s owner was a psychopath. In fact, pets, being helpless and trusting, often serve the same purpose as a child or vulnerable person: as a scapegoat.

There are other psychopaths who like to brag about how aggressive their dog is. The dog is an extension of themselves, and they take pride in training it to attack or act aggressively toward others, not as a form of security, but as a way to intimidate other people through their dog. Training a dog to be aggressive just to be aggressive is also a form of animal abuse.

Then there are those who, like my MN mother, keep a dog or other animal as a status symbol. They always choose a purebred animal, often a type that is trendy or expensive and makes them appear to be wealthy to others. My mother has a purebred Bichon Freze, a very cute dog, but it’s an extension of herself rather than a companion. She takes it in to a groomer monthly to have its nails done and puts bows on its head. I’m sure if this dog develops health problems, no matter how minor, she will have the dog put to sleep. Several years earlier, she had a purebred toy poodle, and when she got old, callously had her put to sleep, even though she had no health problems other than a little trouble walking due to arthritis. When I questioned her about why she took such drastic action, she just shrugged and told me she didn’t have the time to deal with an ailing animal. I don’t recall her even shedding a tear.

There are purebred animals that have been inbred so much they have health problems. I think anyone who breeds a dog or cat for a certain “look” at the expense of its health is lacking a conscience or empathy, at least toward animals. These people are breeding animals to have a deformity! Imagine breeding humans to have a condition such as Spina Bifida. How is it any different? Persian cats are a perfect example of a cat breed that has been bred to have a pushed in, flat (and in my opinion, ugly) face and as a result they have breathing and other health problems. Some dog and cat breeds, such as the “munchkin” cat or Bassett hound have serious spinal issues or have trouble walking due to their excessively short legs.

persiancat munchkin
Persian and munchkin cats.

Some psychopaths use pets as a way to torment or control their children. They will purchase or acquire an animal for a child, and then if the child misbehaves, hold the threat “I’ll have Fido or Fluffy put to sleep if you do that again” over the kids’ heads. This is mental torture. My N-ex’s mother was a narcissist herself and used this tactic to manipulate him. When Michael was five, his father brought home a white puppy. He loved that dog and spent all his free time with him (he may not have been a narcissist yet, it’s hard to say). One day when he was five, he was coloring with crayons on the hardwood floor, sitting in a patch of sun that came in through the living room window. Buster, the puppy, was sitting next to him watching. There was also a pair of child’s plastic scissors on the floor. As children will do, he left to do something else without putting the crayons and scissors away. But before he came back, Michael’s mother discovered the crayons had melted all over the wooden floor. Surely she couldn’t have really thought the melted red and purple crayons were blood, but when Michael returned to coloring, she pointed to the waxy, melted mess and the scissors and accused him of “cutting the dog.” Buster did have a little red crayon on his fur but was not cut and wasn’t hurt in any way. To punish Michael, his mother announced she was having the puppy put to sleep, in order to “teach him a lesson.” And so she did. So psychopaths will use animals to manipulate, control and torment their children.

Some psychopaths and narcissists will acquire a pet to control other people. My ex, Michael (the grown up version of the little boy in the last paragraph) did this. Now he actually was an animal lover (and always said he preferred animals to people), but he also used them as a way to say “fuck off” to me. I’m an animal lover and have always had pets, but I remember when in 2011, he adopted a dog without asking me how I felt about it. At the time, I already had three cats and Dexter, my dog. The house I live in is small, and there wasn’t room for another dog. For several weeks he had been combing Craigslist looking at puppies. He wasn’t working and was basically freeloading while I paid all the bills. Not only was there not room for another dog, I couldn’t afford one. I begged him to not get any ideas. Michael assured me he was “just looking” and to stop worrying.

Well, lo and behold, one day I came home from work to find a puppy in his arms on the couch. I was angry and told him there was no way I could take care of another pet, and he would have to take it back. He said he wouldn’t. “Too bad, he’s here to stay,” he said.

The puppy was a Jack Russell/Beagle mix and the loudest, most undisciplined, and hyper dog I ever met. Michael refused to train him and a year later this dog was still pooping and peeing in the house. He also tore up everything, and I’d regularly come home from work to find the house in a shambles. Michael never bothered to pick up the mess. He’d just make excuses for his pet, whining “but he’s just a puppy!” even though the dog was a year old. If me or my daughter tried to discipline him, Michael accused us of being cruel. Talk about gaslighting!

destroyinghouse

The dog (who he named Barnaby) also barked constantly and ran away at least 3 times a week. We’d hear Barnaby barking and howling somewhere in the neighborhood but he wouldn’t return for hours, no matter how much we called him. He was a neighborhood nuisance, and three times neighbors called animal control. Still, Michael refused to discipline or train him. That job fell to me and my daughter, but of course we were “cruel” or “hated animals.”

The third time animal control showed up, I told them to please take the dog. I never wanted him in the first place, and I couldn’t control him. I didn’t want to pay a $75 fine to keep him, so away he went. I felt bad about the fact he would probably be put down, but there was nothing else I could do. Michael, of course, was livid, and said “I never realized how much you hated animals.” Of course only HIS needs mattered. He didn’t care that all the training and financial expense of the dog fell on me. He also didn’t care about Barnaby’s needs: he was wel aware that Jack Russells (and Beagles) are extremely active dogs that need to run. It’s in their genes. We were living in a small house with a tiny unfenced yard, and that’s not an appropriate setting for a dog like Barnaby. But like all narcissists, Michael was like a three year old: “I want a dog and I better have one and I don’t care what you think!” Now I love dogs, but in Barnaby’s case, I was never so happy to see the last of that animal. I hope someone with a large fenced yard and time to train him appropriately adopted him.

So yes, psychopaths do keep pets, but they are kept for all the wrong reasons–to control others, to serve as scapegoats or status symbols, to guard property, and generally to serve as extensions of the psychopath. And that’s about it. Psychopaths and narcissists have no genuine love for animals, just as they have none for other people.

Meet my pets

I meant to post earlier about my pets, but I had to make some space on my phone to take new photos. This morning I finally got the opportunity. I have 5 kitties and a dog, Dexter. Each of them has their own unique personality and hopefully these photos capture some of that. I’m posting the cats in the order I acquired each one.

Chunks:
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Chunks is about 9 or 10, so she is the oldest of the group. Her original name was Ione, but it didn’t stick and Chunks is who she became, and from these photos you can see why. She looks like a meatloaf! Chunks spends most of her time sleeping, and (surprise!) eating. At night she likes to sleep at the foot of my bed and sometimes licks my fingers. I think she must be part Siamese because of her bright blue eyes and and loud meow.

Babycat:
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Babycat is 5. She was adopted by my daughter as a tiny kitten whose mother had been killed by a car. You can’t tell from these photos, but Babycat used to look like a Maine Coon and had gorgeous semi-long fur and a bushy tail. But she is very nervous and jumpy, and has a habit of chewing her fur until she pulls it out. I think she also may have a skin allergy because she is also missing fur in places she can’t reach, like the back of her neck. When I have the funds I plan to take her to the vet and find out what can be done so she grows back her beautiful fur. But Babycat is also very friendly and affectionate, as long as you don’t pick her up (she will squirm to get loose). She gets along well with Chunks, but seems to prefer to keep her distance from the other kitties.

Sheldon:
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Sheldon, my black and white tuxedo cat, came to my home at the same time as Cleo, but they aren’t from the same litter. He and Cleo are about 4. Of all the cats, Sheldon is the most people oriented and can be downright doglike in his demands for attention! He will follow you around meowing and he announces himself when he walks into a room, chirping and trilling like a bird. He loves my dog, Dexter the most and wrestles with him more like a puppy than a cat. Sheldon’s also the most likely to get into trouble, knocking things over (for attention I think!) or scratching the furniture. He’s a funloving guy who loves to go out, and will not leave you alone until he gets his way. The first two photos show him begging to go outside. It was very hard to get him to stay still long enough to get a good photo!

Cleo:
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Cleo is an easygoing kitty and very small. She still looks like a kitten. But don’t let her delicate appearance fool you. She is a world class hunter and often brings home a “surprise.” She has even captured rabbits and other animals much bigger than a mouse! She can run up a tree faster than you can say “Boo” and knows how to get herself back down too. She gets along well with everyone and while not as affectionate as Babycat and Sheldon, doesn’t mind being pet and occasionally even carried around. Sometimes she jumps down from a perch on the cat tree and rides around on my shoulders. The first photo is one I took of her during the summer.

Mr. Biggles:
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Mr. Biggles is about 3. He is a handsome guy and as you can see, he’s the most photogenic of all the kitties. He knows how pretty he is because he’ll actually stop and stay still for the camera. He’s an easygoing, chill guy who gets along well with everyone but he’s terribly clumsy, and often misses when he tries to jump to a high surface. Nothing phases him though, and pretty soon he’ll try again. He’s fearless. He also loves his beauty rest.

Dexter:
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Dexter with Mr. Biggles:
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Dexter is a very pretty black lab/Dachsund mix (he mom was a Doxie) who we adopted from a neighbor when he was about 4 or 5 months old. He’s a very sweet, affectionate boy and loves car rides more than anything. He likes all the cats, especially Mr. Biggles and Sheldon. He will whine for attention and loves to run. He’s a terrible watchdog though, and rarely barks unless he is playing.

Here’s a couple of bonus photos I took of the cats on the cat tree in the living room, after I sprinked some catnip on it. The brown and white cat in the bottom left side of the photo is Isaiah, a friend’s cat we are watching while he is away.

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Click on the photos to enlarge.