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  • Writer's pictureCara

Woman in emotionally abusive relationship with neighbour's cat

Friends of a local woman express concerns over her investment in the neighbour’s cat, who they suspect to be a narcissistic abuser.

‘The warning signs are all there,’ her best friend and psychology major, Sharon, tells us. ‘First comes idealisation, otherwise known as love bombing: Tibbles showers her with affection, purring and rubbing himself on her legs. He makes her feel like the most important girl in the world. Then comes the devaluation stage: Tibbles starts to pull away. She leaves cans of tuna and saucers of milk at the back door but he doesn’t show. Then he discards her. She waits for him at the back door, she makes a fool of herself by kneeling in the dirt and going “pspspspspsps” when he walks by, but he doesn’t acknowledge her. She’s of no use to him now. Then, the moment she begins to heal, he begins the hoover stage, where he sucks her back in and the cycle begins anew.’

‘He’s a furry psychopath,’ her sister Grace says. ‘There’s no warmth in those eyes. It’s been so painful watching my sister give everything only to get nothing back. She’s a strong, capable woman who’s been reduced to a nervous wreck, waiting by the window, buying jumbo packs of cat treats only for them to sit in the cupboard, untouched. She’s walking on eggshells; she daren’t move too quickly when she sees him at the back door for fear of him scarpering. He’s so mercurial. Sometimes he’ll beg her to scratch behind his ears, other times he’ll run away when she touches him like she just kicked him in the face.’

A circle of her closest friends are in the process of organizing an intervention for their feline-frenzied friend and warn others to pay attention to the warning signs.

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