We’ve always had a feeling that our cat was actually plotting to kill us, but one guy took that minor fear to a whole new level and became particularly concerned that his feline friend was conspiring against him.
A new study has revealed the story of one man who became convinced that his cat was a different cat – an imposter in his home who was involved in a conspiracy against him.
According to the i100, the case relates to a 71-year-old with a strange disorder called ‘capgras syndrome’, a condition which leads to the sufferer believing that someone dear to them has been replaced by a stranger.
Now, a feline variant of the disorder has been uncovered thanks to the research into this particular case by Harvard neurologists R. Ryan Darby and David Caplan.
The two scientists rather wittily dubbed the new found version of the condition ‘cat-gras’ (we see what you did there, guys) when writing about their findings in a science journal called Neurocase.
The patient, who hasn’t been named, has a history of heavy drinking, ice-hockey-related injuries, and bipolar disorder. He reportedly developed paranoia after he stopped taking his psychiatric medications, and started to believe his house was being monitored. He also thought people in parking lots were agents working for the FBI.
Darby and Caplan’s report states:
He then became obsessed with the idea that his pet cat had been replaced by an imposter cat that was involved in the conspiracy against him. He knew that the current cat resembled his pet cat physically, but that the personality or psychic core of his cat had been replaced. His symptoms improved with medications and he has had no further delusions of imposters replacing his cat.
Capgras delusions have rarely been reported with animals. Review of the literature reveals two cases reported in pet cats, two cases in pet birds, and one in a pet dog. The majority of these cases occurred during a psychotic episode with other paranoid and persecutory delusions, as in our patient.