10 Signs You’re in an “Abusive” Relationship … With a Cat


Okay, first of all, real abusive relationships aren’t a joke.

However, one day I was sitting in my therapist’s waiting room (I’m still recovering from some old wounds) and I was bored because I was — for once! — early, so I plucked a pamphlet from the wall. Those pamphlets always look like they’ve been there since 1995, probably because people pick them up, look at them, and then put them back. They have titles like “Are You Struggling With an Eating Disorder?” and soothing pastel color schemes and images inside that are all stock photos from the 1980s. None of this is funny, but when you’ve lived through it and you’ve managed to heal enough, there’s a certain dark humor in looking back.

Which is how I arrived at the conclusion that my roommate’s cat and I are in an abusive relationship. This is only funny because it’s actually impossible, and by displacing the subject matter onto a cute cat, we can laugh. But enough of my diatribe on the complex orchestration of humor! Check out this list and see whether it makes you think of any cats you may know:

1. He’s unpredictable

Here is Le Chat Gris accepting a treat from my hand. That means we’re on good terms, right?

Wrong. Here is Le Chat Gris dismissing me entirely — he won’t even look me in the face!

2. He withholds affection

Look at him. Loafed in the distance. When I tried to approach him, he ran away.

3. He is manipulative

Whenever my roommate is away, Le Chat Gris knows I’m his sole source of sustenance and poop-scooping, so if he wants a clean box to squat in, he cozies up to me. I mean, I’d scoop it anyway, but sometimes I pretend I won’t, just so I get his affection. That makes us mutually manipulative.

4. He breaks things

One time I put a vase of flowers on the kitchen table to enjoy. It was the last time. There was a crash and a splash and Le Chat Gris darting from the room, and that was it: No more flowers.

5. He leaves me with scars I have difficulty explaining

The scratch marks from the last time I tried to cuddle him? Uh, I fell down the stairs? (Because no, dear landlord, I most certainly do not have an illegal cat in my apartment.)

6. When people ask me about him, I make excuses

Uh, it smells like a litter box in here? I don’t know what you’re talking about. No really, I love him even though, yes, he always runs away from me.

7. He makes me cry all the time

I have severe allergies if I forget to take my allergy medication.

8. He acts nice to my friends

“But he’s sooo cute!” they tell me, and I’m thinking, “Yeah, but he’s so mean to me.”

9. He gets jealous

One time I had a boyfriend over and he meowed and scratched at the door until I relented, and opened it, only for him to scamper off down the hall and proceed to glare at me and the boyfriend.

10. I can’t quit him

I just can’t — that’s now how adoption works, silly!

How is your cat “abusive” toward you? Let us know in the comments!

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