Cat Hoarding Transformed Into Madness
It is said that cat hoarding is a form of mental illness. Cat hoarders are not completely in the land of reality. They think they are expressing their love of cats by helping cats. Yet they are impervious to what is staring them in the face: injured and dying cats due to the very poor conditions they are putting them in.
If that isn’t bad enough, this is an example where mental illness goes a substantial step further. It is cat hoarding combined with a Frankestein-esque attempt to create a new cat breed. This Polish woman was not content on creating a new cat breed in the slow time-honored way through breeding. No, that wasn’t good enough. She wanted to replicate what Victor Frankenstein did in Mary Shelley’s famed book: Frankenstein.
This Polish woman, living in Warsaw, wanted to create a dog in the style of Frankenstein’s monster but was eventually banned from keeping dogs. She turned to cats and kept 72 in her home. No doubt some were in the freezer.
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Apparently she experimented on living and dead animals. She can’t have read Mary Shelley’s novel because Victor Frankenstein’s attempt to create a beautiful create ended in catastrophe. He created a monster which repulsed him. He rejected it totally and his creation turned on him, killing four people including his childhood friend and his wife.
This woman lost track of reality. As is commonplace for cat hoarders, the smell and noise coming from her home alerted neighbours. The local animal welfare officers raided her home and found the usual horrific mess with a twist: 100 dead animals some of which looked as if they had been experimented on. It appears she had also experimented on living cats.
Well, there it is. The comments attached to the Daily Mail story are interesting as usual. Of course, most express shock and disgust. There is, though, a clear divide, between the decent people and those who find the behavior of this person acceptable.
However, I must make this remark. I believe there is a large body of internet trolls who like to wind-up decent cat loving people. They are almost certainly young men who don’t like cats. They are very negative, destructive-type individuals. Something needs to be done about them. That, though, is another sick story.
- Main photo (B&W) by Diego3336
- Dog in Frankenstein costume by http://www.petsadviser.com
- Original story
Is this the same Mary, countess della torre age 38 on the 1881 census , born in Inverness, and widowed; head of the household. Lodgers from Peru.
I am researching the army career in WW1 of Edmund Lackersteen, also lodging there and of a somewhat clever, wealthy and flamboyant family, livi9ng in Kensington and Fulham. BUT why is Edmund buried in Clewer, Windsor??.interested…Sylvia
Hello Silvia. Right now I am unable to answer precisely to your comment but I thank you for it nonetheless. You have a very specific question and if I have time I will investigate and try and find an answer.
I also started researching the Countess de la Torre, another 19th century cat hoarder.
She appears to have been evicted from 2 properties (Kensington, then Fulham) because of stench and squalor. She then lodged at an inn in Gerards Cross before finally ending upsleeping rough (with a herd of goats). I’ve included her biography – she was an over-indulged child and she lived beyond her means as an adult. Like many hoarders, she was unable to see the filthy state of her home and the condition of the animals. She was repeatedly up before the polic court due to “nuisance”.
Thanks Sarah for that input. I wonder when cat hoarding actually started.
It most likely began when cats were first domesticated. The earliest report I have is from the 1790s, but that’s because I haven’t been able to go back further in newspapers right now.
We tend to think of cat hoarding as a modern phenomenon, but over the last couple of weeks I’ve been looking at some nineteenth century cases, in particular that of Mary Chantrell in the 1870s. I felt compelled to look at her personal life to see what lay behind her hoarding; she was a skilled artist, but she was the prolonged ward of a guardian so I wonder if she had some mental issues. She ended up marrying her guardian when he was in his 70s and suffering dementia; it was a short troubled marriage and she lost custody of her only child and was declared bankrupt
Interesting, Sarah. I suppose that as Hoarding is a symptom of mental illness of some sort then it has probably been with the human race for a very long time no doubt. It may be a symptom of insecurity and anxiety just as an obsessive desire to collect rubbish or possessions that have little value, is. There is a lot of insecurity and anxiety and indeed fear in the world. Fear underlines a lot of what we do and think. I would suggest that as the world is becoming more difficult to live in there will probably be more cat hoarding in the future.
Yea i guess some people get stuck in life and cant move on and without the right proper help can get into this hording situition. I used to know someone who had over 22 cats and was always thinking she was doing the right thing. Its where i got rebel from. Thankfully i moved away from that situition as she became toxic. Just recently a couple here in south island in Invercargill had 38 cats in their home. Dont know much on the situiton as was on t.v but its sad, i wander what will happen to those animals down. just hope people get the support they need to deal with this.
I got so fascinated by Chantrell’s case that I’m trying to get court case records from the National Archives. I can’t work out if she was scheming (she unduly influenced her husband’s will) or incompetent or a mix of both. I found details her first court appearance for animal hoarding in, of all places, the New Zealand archives!
I tell you something!!! With an OMG!! Last night i was watching this hoarder show on Animal Planet, about 2 elderly sisters that cared for, and i use that term care loosely, 144 cats!!! Despictable conditions!! I mean there was no room to walk in the place. Urine and feces had stacked up to where it was 4 to 6 feet above the floor!!!!!!!!!! It had caked up so badly that the cats had started digging tunnels in this horrid mess!!! Cats were littered in the garage as well. In the garage was the more feral ones. They had to set traps for a few days to make sure all cats were out!! The smell was so rancid, the workers had to suit up and use mask to breath!!! Adult Services had to be called and the sisters taken out of the home and placed elsewhere. One was very sick with a terminal illness!! It just made me sick!!!!!! This is something i shall never understand, and i am not sure i want to!!! I put up with a lot, and consider myself a chill individual, but then a callous side comes out where i do not want to face, see, understand or care about others who get caught up in this world of insanity!!! I cannot bring myself to care and understand it! I don’t want to@!!! It angers me more than makes me fill up with compassion!!!! The compassion should be for the cats, not these people that have this deranged thought process that puts themselves and the lives of animals at risk!!! I could hardly get through watching this show. I did!! It put me in a vile mood!!! One worker exclaimed , ‘it won’t surprise me if they condemn this property’!!! That’s how god awful it was!!! I am not cold i hope people understand, but there is a line i can’t cross over!! Never, will i understand how someone feels this kind of living condition for themselves and for cats is desirable, sanitary, and NORMAL!!! Just typing about it makes me want to hit the screen!!! Grrr!!!
I completely understand the point you are making. As we get older we become less tolerant in my experience of the “madness” in human society. Also reading about these stories and seeing ghastly images is not good for our health.
I think we should try, where possible, to surround ourselves with a bit of beauty in whatever form it takes. It helps to make life more bearable.
Exactly! That’s how i try and view things. In small doses and i try and surround myself with more positivity. Perhaps that is why i get so testy so quickly. Because i do not allow myself to view and be brought down by the ugly side of society. I mean we all need to keep aware of what is going on around us at all times, but in smaller doses. Whew.. I felt better after venting that awhile ago. Thanks for your response. I think you must be getting up just as i am going to bed. haha. I’m a night owl. Stay up most the night and then go to bed. Hope you have a cattastic day…
Sorry Michael I’ve read your article but I couldn’t read the nitty gritty. Whenever I see anything about cat hoarding I get very angry and I get incredibly upset at the thought of cats being tortured. Some may argue that they aren’t being tortured but they are its the worst kind of cruelty being kept in a cage not able to move, being ill, being forced to lie in your own faeces and urine 🙁 cats love to be clean these cats really have to endure a living hell. Frankly I don’t care if the hoarders have lost touch with reality they should be made to live in a small room where they can barely move. Leave them in their own crap! let THEM get sick! only then will they realise what they have done to the poor cats. As for that damn mad woman experimenting on live cats she should be locked away for good with a prison full of cat lovers!
Dreadful story.Some people are criminally insane and animals suffer because of them as anyone can get cats or dogs and do whatever they like behind closed doors until they are caught out.
It’s a cruel world for too many animals.
How truly horrible! I hope that woman was locked up for life.
How anyone can comment that it’s acceptable to treat living feeling creatures that way, I just don’t understand.
Some comments on stories like this one are obviously made by idiots with warped minds, like Woody.
You are right Michael, something does need to be done about people like that, their sick minds make them dangerous to decent society.