Saturday, May 9, 2015


By Mary Kennedy                              
As many of you know, I'm a psychologist in private practice on the East coast and recently I came across a wonderful article on narcissism. As I read through the description, I thought, "Good heavens!! How did I miss this? My cat is a narcissist." (Actually several of my 8 cats are narcissists, according to the traits listed in the magazine).  Let's take a quick look, and keep your own cat in mind as we go through some of the characteristics. Do any of them strike a chord with you?
1. With narcissists, it's "all about them." Do they care about *your* needs? Not in the least. Have you ever had a sleepless night, only to have your cat tap you repeatedly on the fact, looking for his breakfast?  By the way, I'll use the pronoun "he" throughout this blog, just for convenience. I happen to have 4 male cats and 4 female cats, and trust me, females can be narcissists, too. Take a look at this fun video of a cat kicking the bedroom door, trying to wake his owners. Totally selfish and narcissistic, although very cute.
2.The Stare. This is a very powerful tool used by feline narcissists. Has your cat ever stared at you intently? As one of my favorite authors, Dean James, said about Diesel, the delightful cat in his Cat in the Stacks Mysteries, "He stared at me, as if trying to bend me to his will." Anyone who has a cat will totally relate to this description. I smile every time I think of it.                                                 
3.The Silent Treatment. Have you ever had your cat walk away from you in a huff?  A swish of his tail, a shrug of his shoulders and he stalks away.  I have. And sometimes my only offense was daring to offer him a plate of cat food he didn't like. My bad!! Narcissists punish by ignoring. And if you've ever been ignored by a cat....well, you see my point.
4. Manipulation. It's all about control with narcissists. Have you ever found yourself opening several cans of cat food, hoping that one will please your furry master? I know I have! Sometimes they even go back and eat the first one you offered.  Classic narcissist behavior.
5. The Victim Card.  Does your cat ever "play the victim" and act so miserably unhappy you just *have* to ditch the canned cat food and open a nice can of dolphin-safe tuna? Or broil a chicken breast, just for him? By meowing piteously, these fur-babies can twist us around their little paws!
These are just a few of the common ploys used by cat-narcissists. Now that you are aware of them, you can be on the look-out! And if you think of some I've missed, please leave a comment below. I'd love to trade experiences with you!
Mary Kennedy
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