The crazy cat lady stereotype is one I’d believed was fading until now. A viral video segment from the new season of Strange Addictions on TLC is designed to shock. Lisa, a 43-year-old artist from Detroit, Michigan is apparently addicted to eating her cat’s hair every two hours, and has for the past 15 years. She grooms her cat with her own tongue in what she views a bonding experience. Cats do communicate and reinforce their bonds by licking members of their own family (feline and human) but cats don’t expect us to lick them. You don’t have to be a cat whisperer to know her cat isn’t thrilled. Cats have raspy, barbed tongues ideal for grooming fur. Human tongues, not so much.
I believe in the freedom to do whatever we want in the privacy in our home as long as we don’t harm our pets or ourselves. Cats often mirror their caretaker’s behavior but in this case, Lisa likely has a condition that both animals and humans can develop, called pica. Pica is compulsive eating disorder of non-food items. Cats with pica will eat anything from kitty litter to plastic bags.
Treatment is available but Lisa doesn’t appear to be interested or crying out for help. Most addicts go to great lengths to hide their addiction, or act out before seeking help. Going on national television may be a ploy for something entirely different.
As someone who grooms four cats daily, I’m hard pressed to come up with a total of one teaspoon of hair let alone the three quarter-sized hairballs every day Lisa claims she gets from her one-short-haired cat. I believe if this crazy cat lady is telling the truth, it’s highly exaggerated. Do you believe this story is true or a hoax?
On a happier and less weird note: The winner of last week’s giveaway for a an interactive toy box from CatAmazing is Alice. Congratulations! Look for an email from Layla and Cat Wisdom 101.