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Kathryn is a high school social studies teacher, has a 13-year-old daughter and a fiancé. Her life looks put together, but behind closed doors, things are out of control.

With 81 cats and six dogs, her pets are taking over her life. The stench of more than 30 litter boxes permeates the house. And Kathryn spends more than $200 a week on the cats, buying 18 pounds of food every two days and six boxes of cat litter a week.

Kathryn's animal hoarding problem started to develop 10 years ago when she was a single mother and thought she would be alone for the rest of her life. She says the cats gave her a sense of purpose and filled a void in her life. "I'm attached to every cat," she says. "All of my animals are named...I don't want to part with any of them really."

But Kathryn knows she is in "heavy denial."

"I thought I was going to be able to handle so many animals, but obviously it's not working out," she says. "I'm maybe not in control of my life."
FROM: Inside the Secret Lives of Hoarders
Published on May 06, 2005


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