Crazy Cat Lady
Old Ella Mason keeps cats, eleven at last count,
—"Ella Mason and Her Eleven Cats" by Sylvia Plath, 1956
"So instead of having children, I'm going to get more cats!"
—Kathleen, Loading Ready Run
Animal hoarding is a real-life psychiatric problem and Serious Business. Although animal hoarders come in all shapes, sizes, races, nationalities, pet preferences, ages, and in both sexes (at about a 50-50 ratio), Crazy Cat Ladies in fiction are predominantly older white women.
This person is invariably Not Good with People, except that instead of being a Friend to All Living Things, she usually only has an affinity with one specific type of animal, which will flock to her like moths to a flame. She lives alone (probably because she couldn't get married) except for the large number of cats or whatever animals living with her. She is often feared by the community and seen as an eccentric recluse. Sometimes, she will turn to be a Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold, leading to An Aesop about judging a book by its cover.
This trope definitely seems skewed towards female characters, and can be read as an extension of the traditional negative characterisation of spinsters, especially when it's implied that the cats are a stand-in for human children that she never had before it was too late. Men, apart from an occasional trend toward living on a rooftop surrounded by pigeons, tend towards either more complete isolation or a more diversified set of friends. Male or female, however, animal hoarders tend to do a poor job of caring for their pets. Sanitation is often a nightmare: many of the animals die from malnourishment, and the owner themselves might die from related illnesses.
Three guesses who inherits the house when they go. See Kindhearted Cat Lover for examples when liking cats is not a symptom of being socially inept. See All Witches Have Cats, where the many cats are a sign of a magic caster.
- A "Got Milk?" ad featured an old lady with a house full of cats discovering she was out of milk. She mixed up a batch of non-dairy creamer. "Just like milk!" The cats hate it. The last thing we see is one of the cats closing the blinds...
- A Geico commercial had the Gecko and spokesperson visiting customers, in this case an older lady. The spokesman asks what she feeds her cats; cut to a shot of the Gecko surrounded by cats and looking very nervous as she says, "I usually like to feed them fresh food." The pair are then shown back at the office with the Gecko's arm in a little sling.
- "When you pay too much for cable, you throw things. When you throw things, people think you have anger issues. When people think you have anger issues, your schedule clears up. When your schedule clears up, you grow a scraggly beard. When you grow a scraggly beard, *man picks up stray cat* you start taking in stray animals. And when you start taking in stray animals, you can't stop taking in stray animals. Stop taking in stray animals!"
Anime & Manga
- Orochimaru from Naruto is the definitive Crazy Snake Man.
- Pet Shop of Horrors featured a Crazy Reptile Man (an actor who bought a basilisk) as well as humorous Nutty Poodle Gangster.
- Pet Shop of Horrors has a lot of these, actually, as many of D's clientele are people who for one reason or another cannot relate normally to others.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion. Dr Akagi's liking for cats is a subtle use of this trope, hinting (along with her post-it notes) that she's more Mad Scientist than Hot Scientist.
- Then there's Soi Fon from Bleach, but there is a good reason: her former boss was Yoruichi, who just happened to transform into a cat. Les Yay, anyone?
- Black Butler's Sebastian loves felines and is shown to secretly keep cats in his wardrobe.
- A minor character in Living Game keeps an apartment full of snakes (mostly behind glass), with predictable results on her love life.
- Irma from Queen's Blade is all over the "cat attraction," thing, though she is likely sane, just very bitter and aloof.
- Cathy, or "Cat-chan" from Yu-Gi-Oh Ze Xal, although only in middle school, has a horde of cats and is definitely crazy, mostly for Yuma. She also wears her hair up to look like cat ears and can communicate with her cats through hisses and purrs.
- A 1955 issue of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen features a wealthy Crazy Cat Lady who owns 49 felines and rewards Jimmy with a million dollars after he rescues one of them.
- DC Comics series Armageddon 2001 was a series of "what if" stories picturing the fates that were going to befall various DC superheroes as the world was turning into a dystopia. One of the stories shows super heroine Ice as a crazy cat lady.
- While not crazy (dressing as a giant animal and jumping across rooftops is considered sane in the DC Universe), Catwoman officially has 17 cats.
- Felicia Hardy in Spider-Man Noir is a reclusive nightclub owner who not only owns many cats, but takes them to work! Her club's called "The Black Cat" and the waitresses are dressed in Catgirl fetish gear, as well. After being disfigured by the Crime Master, she becomes a total shut-in who never leaves the house, never has any visitors besides her doorman Lippy, and does little but care for her cats.
- The bird lady from Mary Poppins.
- The Crazy Squirrel Lady from Rat Race. Though she seems to want to get rid of them. If you don't buy a squirrel, she gives you directions off a cliff.
- The comedy The Wrong Box has Dr. Pratt, a deranged-but-harmless, pathetic old soul with oodles of cats in his office/home. (Peter Sellers' performance makes the character the One-Scene Wonder of the film.)
- A character in Mirror Mask is an old lady who lives alone with a lot of small cat-like sphinxes. (In a line cut from the final film, she explains that she's a widow; her husband just disappeared one day, and apparently the sphinxes were so upset they didn't touch their food for days...)
- Willard and his rats.
- Madame from The Aristocats becomes one after waking up in the middle of the night and discovering that her cats have been kidnapped by her evil butler while she is still sleeping and leaving them all for dead in the French countryside.
- Although technically disqualified because he hoards so many different species, Raoul from UHF's "Raoul's Wild Kingdom" segments deserves honorary Crazy Cat Lady status for having dozens of exotic and wild animals living tucked into drawers, hidden in cupboards, and running/flying/crawling free in his apartment.
- He qualifies based on the number of poodles he sacrifices out the window in teaching them to fly. They make a pile about 8 feet high easily filling the trope, at least until they all die.
- Taken to a truly disturbing degree in Good Neighbours: Louise loves all cats to an extreme degree and is rather socially awkward and distant... and is also a sociopathic murderer.
- The fiendish Mrs. Deagle from Gremlins has no problem with cruelty to dogs (she threatens Billy's with a ride in her spin dryer at high heat for breaking a yard decoration), but when we see her home life it turns out her house is full of cats. And since she's a greedy old hag, she has given them all names like "Kopec" and "Dollar Bill".
- The old lady that Alex kills in A Clockwork Orange lives in a home surrounded by fifty or more cats. (After he is imprisoned, the government sells all of his stuff. Why? To pay for the upkeep of the cats.)
- "Breaking out in chronic cats" is mentioned as a sign of senility in the Discworld novel Hogfather, when Susan discovers Death has taken in a vast number of cats as pets. Doubles as Kindhearted Cat Lover, as Death is both friendly but socially confused when dealing with humans.
- And Lady Sybil Vimes has her dragons.
Sybil: Good boys.
- One of the thirteen Black Ajah Aes Sedai the female protagonists are sent out to hunt early in the Wheel of Time series was a noted cat-lover; cats flock to Aes Sedai in general but this particular character seeks out strays and injured cats to Heal and feed up
- In Harry Potter, one of the Dursley's neighbors (Arabella Figg) who they would sometimes leave him with was something of a crazy cat lady. Later, it's revealed she is a squib (a powerless wizard) and probably had a bit of Obfuscating Stupidity in her earlier behavior.
- Word of God has said that the reason she keeps so many cats is because she breeds them as familiars for wizards. She also has a few Kneazles (highly intelligent, cat-like magical creatures which can sense deception and breed with regular cats), and uses them as spies.
- Another example from Harry Potter: Morfin Gaunt (Voldemort's uncle) could count as a crazy snake man. He treats his pet snake with more affection than his sister (not that that's hard) and nails one of its dead skins to the door to scare people off.
- As does Voldemort himself. He has only one live snake, but showers her with affection he wouldn't dream of showing to another human being, even going to far as to put part of his soul in her. And that's not even going into the recurring snake motif associated with him...
- Word of God has also stated that there was originally going to be a Crazy Dog Woman living in Hogsmeade who took in several strays, including Sirius. JK Rowling soon decided that would make the meetings of Harry and Sirius difficult, and moved him into a cave.
- Accidentally occurs to an unemployed man in the first of "15 Portraits of Despair" in the last Endless anthology. The "Despair" part happens when he's offered a job that requires him to go out of town, leaving his cats locked up in his trailer...
- Considering that all those cats were outdoor/strays to begin with, you have to wonder why the hell he didn't just put them outside when he left town.
- In Harriet the Spy, one of Harriet's spy targets is a very seclusive man with some twenty cats. He's constantly attempting to avoid Animal Control, who have him pegged as a hoarder. By the end of the book, they catch him and take the cats away. He's despondent... until the last time we see him, when he's started over with one little kitten.
- Stephen Colbert's book I Am America! (And So Can You!) includes a short article written by a Crazy Cat Lady, in the book on tape she is played by Amy Sedaris!
- Jonathan of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell encounters an extreme Crazy Cat Lady who provides him with the means to bottle madness. She's forgotten how to speak all languages except for Cat, and eats the food they bring her. Eventually, she's granted a boon and turned into a cat and allowed to live among her kind.
- Gösta in Let the Right One In, the book and the movie. In his case the cat hoarding most likely ended up saving his life.
- Bagabond in the Wild Cards series has a telepathic link with all the animals in Manhattan but most especially cats.
- Crazy Cat Ladies appear now and then as tertiary characters, both in the Lord Peter Wimsey books and in Agatha Christie's writing.
- In The Bad Place, by Dean Koontz, most of the main characters belong to the same Dysfunctional Family: their grandparents are brother and sister, their parent is a hermaphrodite who managed to impregnate herself several times. Two sisters in the youngest generation are identical twins who share a telepathic link with each other, as well as with any animal of their choice. They surround themselves with a flock of cats that they are permanently linked to.
- In one of the Jeeves and Wooster stories, it becomes necessary to make Sir Roderick Glossop believe that Bertie is insane. One of the methods by which this is accomplished is to make it look like he's some sort of Crazy Cat Gentleman.
- Note that this works especially well because Sir Roderick already knows that Bertie's Uncle Henry was a Crazy Rabbit Gentleman who kept eleven of them in his bedroom and spent his last days in an asylum, "happy to the last and completely surrounded by rabbits".
- Later, in "Without The Option", Bertie meets an actual Crazy Cat Lady, the Pringle's Aunt Jane. He's impersonating his friend Sippy at the time, and since Sippy shot arrows at one of Aunt Jane's cats when he was about six years old, Aunt Jane now is highly suspicious that Bertie wants to harm her cats. This causes problems, since Bertie really is something of a Kindhearted Cat Lover and Aunt Jane's cats take to him instinctively.
- In the Tunnels series, Mrs. Tantrumi is an old woman living in Highfield who owns a lot of cats. She is also one of Les Collaborateurs.
- This trope is consciously subverted in the novel The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters. The novel features the death of a supposed mad black woman whose house is found to be full of ill-treated and mutilated cats. In actual fact she is not mad but merely suffers from Tourette's and the cats are strays ill-treated by her next door neighbours which Annie tried to save from further cruelty.
- In The Pale King, Chris Fogle's mother ends up obsessing over birds as a way to cope with the death of her ex-husband.
- Shotgun Sorceress has Sara Bailey-Jones, who owns a large number of Devil Kittens and kills anyone who is mean to them.
- The young adult novel Jacob Have I Loved has a cat lady who's portrayed as mildly dotty. When she ends up in the hospital, the main characters must decide what to do with all of her cats. They consider drowning them, even going so far as to throw them all in sacks and take them out in a boat, but in the end can't go through with it. The solution they finally come up with is to drug the (rather vicious) cats with opiates so they seem meek and compliant, and convince several of the local residents that adopting a cat is a good idea.
Live Action TV
- There is a CSI episode ("Cat's in the Cradle") where a murdered crazy cat lady is partially eaten by her cats.
- There was an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent with a bird lady who believed that people are reincarnated as birds, and that one parakeet in particular was her late husband.
- In one episode of the The Flash live-action TV series, The Trickster, when given a chance to find out, goes on a rant about how he doesn't care who's behind the Flash's mask, because he's just some guy, who will end up alone living alone with a lot of cats.
- An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond features Robert dating—briefly -- "the frog lady of Massapequa".
- The first episode of A Touch of Frost features a Crazy Cat Lady who burns all her cats to death. On purpose.
- This is doubtlessly the future of Angela in the US version of The Office.
- There's a crazy cat lady in the neighbourhood in My Name Is Earl Randy also dates a cat hobbyist, who realizes she's slipping into the mold, after Randy points out she treats him like a cat.
- The Drew Carey Show: When Nora is gushing about her many adorable kitties, another character asks her, "You know they're going to eat your eyes when you die alone?" After a pause, she says somberly, "I try not to think about that."
- The scene playing during the credits for that episode is filmed through the eyes of one of her cats, who jumps up on her bed as she's sleeping and paws at one of her eyes. She wakes up and says something like "I'm not dead yet, Mittens."
- Matthew of News Radio owns many, many cats. One episode, Bill dismisses Matthew's friends as shut-ins.
Matthew: They're not shut-ins, okay Bill... they're just the kind of people that like to stay inside... all the time.
- An episode of New Tricks focused on the re-opened case of the death of a woman whose body had been partially eaten by her cats. It turned out she'd been accidentally killed. Her body had been locked in her house along with all of her cats with all of the doors and windows shut, no food, no water and well...nature took its course.
- On Charmed, there was a woman who has a ton of cats who seem to obey her commands. It's justified since, It was Kit, the Charmed Ones' old familiar, given a human form and raises new familiars.
- Mrs. Bond from All Creatures Great and Small and her house full of cats. Her husband seems to deal with it by ignoring it all.
- In one episode of Castle the only witness to a crime has amnesia, in an attempt to discover who he is they put a photo of him on TV asking for anyone who knows him. A woman turns up claiming to be his wife but turns out to be a crazy lady who owns 8 cats.
- In another episode, a police swat team busts into a house, thinking it's the house of a terrorist. It turns out the name was misspelled, cut to a scene of Castle, Esposito and Ryan, drinking tea from fussy teacups whilst being climbed on by a hoard of cats.
- An episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia where Frank and Charlie start to realize Sweet Dee is turning into one.
- There are several Hoarders who had hoards of animals in their houses. A few even had dead animals in the piles of trash.
- In fact, there is a new TV spin-off from Hoarders called Animal Hoarding which focuses on this type of behavior. Some episodes have had people with: 2000 rats, 80 dogs or 50 cats. In all of these cases, the animals aren't receiving good care simply because there are so many of them.
- In an episode of Hannah Montana Forever, Miley was busy dealing with the fallout of revealing herself as the titular idol singer to the world. Not wanting to deal with anymore negativity, she contemplated staying in her house with nothing but cats. Her friend Lily Lampshaded this and resorted to dragging her out.
- In Grandmas House, Simon appears to be a male version:
"The cat didn't make me any less lonely. It just became a mascot for my loneliness."
- In Parks and Recreation the cast once went to a bed and breakfast ran by a Crazy Cat Lady.
- In the Friends episode "The One Where Mr Heckles Dies", Chandler worries that he's going to end up alone and imagines his future self as a "Crazy Snake Man".
- In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Zazzy Substitution", Sheldon deals with a falling out with Amy by adopting lots and lots of cats.
Leonard: Okay, fine, live with cats! Be like my Aunt Nancy. She had dozens of 'em, and you know what happened after she died? They ATE her!
- In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody spin off, The Suite Life On Deck, their teacher Miss Tutweiller has her room full of cats. It is suggested that she gets a new one every time she gets dumped. After her sister has a more sucessful Valentines Day than her she announces that she's about one bad relationship away from being one of those women who has thirty cats and pathetically names them after ex-boyfriends.
- An early season 2 episode of ER had the paramedics debate whether they could take in a man who was sitting around naked in his apartment while white rabbits scurried around his apartments. He was morbidly obese and singing a show-tune, but when they took him to hospital he panicked about who was going to feet his bunnies while he was in hospital.
- Hannah from One Life to Live is a different variation of this. She's fairly young, and is effectively a Yandere who happens to have a bizarre obsession with cats.
- In The Closer, Brenda lives in fear of turning into one of these and, after her cat (who she thought was male) has kittens, she wonders how she became one of those single women with too many cats.
- How do you make a crazy cat lady even crazier? Simply see this installment of Bizarro
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, one of the character templates for the Nosferatu (a Splat of vampires horribly disfigured by the Embrace who live secluded lives or utilize illusion powers to maintain the Masquerade) is a crazy small animal person. The character's gender is up to you, as is the type of small animals he hoards. He seldom leaves his lair, preferring to use animal mind-control to have one of his pets act as a proxy when dealing with the coterie.
- There's a Creepy Cat Lady in the Horror Recognition Guide for Hunter: The Vigil. She's just that /little/ bit creepier than normal, thanks to what she can do with her cats...
- In Nomine sourcebook Liber Servitorum includes an old woman who seems to be a crazy cat lady. She is, in fact, a servant of an angel who inhabits her cats.
- You can get a Crazy Cat Lady action figure. No, really.
- The Touhou series has Satori Komeiji, who lives alone in a huge underground palace with an army of crows and cats. Justified in that her ability to read minds means that she tends to attract a lot of animals who can't otherwise communicate with her. She's actually rather friendly, but has a habit of responding to what people are thinking rather than what they're saying, which causes people to avoid her. Some of her fans have done up gag-art poking fun at this fact.
- In Tales of Symphonia one room in the Altamira hotel is teeming with ginger cats; it also contains one eccentric elderly man who says odd things when you talk to him.
- In World of Warcraft, there's an NPC named Donni Anthania in Elwynn Forest, with the subtext <Crazy Cat Lady>. As expected, her house and the surrounding area is crawling with cats. She also sells cat pets to players.
- She seems like a fairly normal, genericly attractive NPC... then you notice the bloody butcher knife in her hand.
- Also there's Auriaya, product of someone in the Blizzard quarters who said "Hey, what if we pick a crazy cat lady, and make her a raid boss?". She also happens to be a giant. And thousands of years old.
- Also, her cats FUCKING HURT.
- In Harvester, there's the Crazy Wasp Lady complete with long creepy rant about how the wasps' ability to sting again and again is reminiscent of multiple orgasm...
- In Dwarf Fortress it's the cats are the ones adopting the dwarves. As a result, Dwarves have a tendency to become this if the cat population is left unchecked. The cats' useful side is being the only common animal who actively hunts vermin annoying your dwarves and trying to eat your food. But cats procreate like rabbits (and the model is loose enough that a pair doesn't even have to meet, just be able to meet), which eventually will slow the game to a crawl. To counter it, you can have the stray cats butchered for food, leather, and bones. Which is when adoption becomes a problem, since dwarves get really upset when their pets die.
- KOTOR 2, in the restored content there is a deranged padawin living in the ruins of an old temple who raises and trains Laigrek (large cockroaches) to kill any trespassers or treasure-hunters on sight. Noble characters can dissuade her while Villains can kill or corrupt her.
- FarmVille has a series of ribbons called Cat Lady which are awarded by brushing your cats enough times.
- Edna Strickland in Telltale Games' Back to the Future: The Game. She becomes worse.
- Drowtales: Mel'anarch is another example of a younger character fitting this trope, replacing cats with spiders, including a giant one that she had a child with.
- Natalie of Fur Will Fly has has cats, lots and lots of cats, despite being a cat herself. She's also quite energetic, so one could argue that she's a twofer of this trope.
- Nobody Scores both subverts and plays this trope straight in a one-shot where Jane tries to become a literal Crazy Cat Lady.
- The entire point of Cat vs. Human
- Dong-whi and Yun-lee are both absolutely cat-crazy in Nineteen Twenty One and spend a lot of the comic looking after cats. The cafe owner is also absolutely cat mad.
- Homestuck has Roxy Lalonde, who achieves the unique feat of being this trope while only 15 years old and a protagonist.
Why did you have to clone so many cats? Why did they all have to breed so much?
- On the other hand, she's not your typical Cat Lady, as she doesn't begrudge the displaced Dersites their hunting of her cats.
- Also helps that she's one of the last two humans on Earth.
- In a recent episode of The Guild its shown that Vork keeps dozens of birds in his home. He apparently uses them for food (since he is unemployed and only barely gets by on his dead grandfather's benefit checks).
- Katherine, of Manwhores is an unusual version of this trope in that she is in her 20's and doesn't actually own any cats (being allergic.) This doesn't stop her from filling her house with cat posters, cat models, and cat movies filling her house—in addition to demanding to play with a cat toy to, um, get frisky.
- In Cracked.com:
- Parodied by Christina H., whose column is called "Let Me Tell You About My Cats."
- Pets are #5 of the 6 Things You Didn't Know You Could Get Addicted To, and this article links it to Toxoplasma gondii parasites.
- Photoplasty Famous Images, As Seen From a Different Angle shows a dozen cats on the side of the room that we don't see in James McNeill Whistler's famous portrait of his mother.
- (The Customer is) Not Always Right got these popping up now and then. Like this or this. There's no crazy cat lady repellent [dead link]. But there is crazy dog lady, and another one. And a crazy horse lady. And even crazy bird people.
- Geese vs. Cats vs. Eagle thread on 4chan /b/. Even the cats clearly understood she's crazy.
The funny thing is that the cats really don't care for her. She interacts with each of them for maybe a total of 20 minutes across their entire lives before they get mauled to death by geese or eagles.
- There's a recurring Crazy Cat Lady character in The Simpsons, seen up above. If somebody approaches her house, she greets them with incomprehensible screams and thrown cats. Her real name is Eleanor Abernathy, and according to the episode "Springfield Up," she used to be a successful doctor and lawyer—until she suffered mental burnout around age 32, turned to alcohol, and sought emotional solace in her pet cats.
- Kids Next Door has a Crazy Cat Lady as a recurring villain. She can even make her cats gather around her to cause Make My Monster Grow on herself!
- There's Hatty MacDoogal, a crazy cat lady on Futurama who tends to carry a cat around with her and calls anything she doesn't know the word for a "kajigger" or a "whatchacallit".
- Rhino's owner in Bolt is a crazy hamster lady.
- Lilo & Stitch: The Series presents a more sympathetic example with Mrs. Hasigawa, who has collected a large number of alien experiments that, due to either poor eyesight or senility, she thinks are cats. Lilo and Stitch tried to remove them, but then decided against it when they realized Ms. Hasigawa really did care for them and was taking care of them as well as anyone else could.
- The herbalist healer in two episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender lives alone on a mountain with her spoiled cat, Miyuki.
Aang: You're insane, aren't you?
- In an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Rarity freaks out and refuses to leave her home due to particularly ill-timed visit by a fashion critic. Her friends have this conversation:
Applejack: Well, we can't just leave Rarity like this...
- Truth in Television as anyone who's watched a lot of animal rescue shows like Animal Planet Heroes can tell you. It's called Animal hoarding and many consider it a mental health issue. There's one theory regarding the parasite Toxoplasma gondii which reproduces only in cat intestines which may mean some people who are attracted to cats (specifically the smell of cat pee) have this parasite, making them more like to be eaten by cats if they die.
- Karen Kuykendall, the artist behind the The Tarot of the Cat People was (naturally) a Crazy Cat Lady, with the added horror bonus of dying of a heart attack and her body being partially devoured by her own pets.
- Read this story about the so-called "Palisades Rathouse". This also verges into Nightmare Fuel territory.
- Very, very slightly averted by Big Edie and Little Edie Beals-Bouvier of the "Gray Gardens" documentary, musical, and movie. They were very fond of cats, but they also liked their "housemate", a raccoon.
- This woman in Russia has 130 cats that are all strays. She takes them in because she feels bad for all the cats. Sure some people say she's crazy, but others actually say she has a really big heart, given that she lives in Siberia and many house cats really wouldn't be able to survive most winters.
- As a putdown to a woman who supposedly says something negative about men: "You know, you can get kittens at the animal shelter for free. As many as you like." Somehow men who say this never quite realize that acting like a bitter misogynistic jerk to women is part of how they end up in the Does Not Like Men category.
- Robert Brunette of Boulder Creek, California kept 38 malnourished dogs, crates full of feces and urine, and even decapitated dog heads and skulls. When he was arrested near a local high school and interviewed by police, he said that the skulls were of dogs he wanted to remember. Unfortunately, I Am Not Making This Up.
- Unlike most domesticated animals, cats are very self-sustaining, as they can hunt for their own food and don't really need much human attention save for the occasional neutering or trip to the vet. Since they pretty much care for themselves, they're relatively low-maintenance and thus a very popular choice for hoarders.
- Animal hoarders can be shockingly unaware of the reality of their situation. They honestly don't see the problem that's obvious to everyone, and can even see those trying to help as enemies out to kill their friends. Sadly, because so many of the animals hoarded are in terrible shape, sometimes the majority of animals rescued do have to be put to sleep on humanitarian grounds. Less serious but still surprising is the attitude of the police, who were generally kind and understanding with male hoarders but absolutely blisteringly cruel to female ones, even though the damage to the animals was the same. One wonders how much of the trope derives from the Real Life Double Standard.
- The inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk, tamed the island's cats so that they would protect his grain from vermin. Supposedly, one of his biggest fears was dying on the island and having his corpse devoured by the cats.
- Another case of insane cat ladyness in the news, a cop apparently stopped a car with 15 cats running around inside it. As in, the cats were loose inside the car as it was being driven and it nearly crashed due to the driver not being able to see past the cats in the backseat.
- 80's pop star Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons made headlines in 2008 when dozens of cats, cat corpses, bones and feces were found in her Massachusetts home. She claims to have put the cats in the care of a friend, but her behavior and the conditions in which the animals were living points to classic hoarding.
- Harry R. Truman (no relation to the president), the old man who refused to evacuate from Mount St. Helens and was killed along with his 16 cats by the 1980 eruption.
- The French Cardinal Richelieu was fond of cats and possessed fourteen of them when he died.
- Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters is known for his collection of cats and often writes songs about them. They are some of the only happy songs you'll find in his catalog.