This is my cat, George or to give her her full title, Georgia Elizabeth Katzenberg-White. She is five years old (I’m pretty sure) and she was born in Sheffield. Although I think she may have just come in to existence via some dreadful portal of pure evil. When I first got her I thought she was a boy, hence the name which just stuck. Maybe she’s always known deep down that I wanted a boy, I have told her this on many occasions so it is possible and maybe this has lead to her hatred of the human race in general. Looking back though I think her general misanthropy stems back to when she was just a young cat, barely more than a kitten really and a team of vets tried to give her an injection and failed, she wasn’t having that, no siree, she fought like Gerard Butler in that film. I’d love to tell you George fought the good fight and the vets left her alone, I wish I could tell you that, but the vets is no fairy-tale place, plus I’d paid for the operation I wasn’t just going to let the stupid bee-yatch run around and get pregnant, I’m a responsible fucking pet owner thank you very much. And so the vets gassed her out, in an actual gas chamber and then ripped out her ovaries. George woke up with a cone on her head and with half her body shaved and stitched up I mean I reckon it’d piss anyone off really. After that she gained a shit load of weight, I’m told it’s the hormones and I’ve had her on a diet ever since although up until very recently she’s always been a house cat so a lack of exercise didn’t help, at her heaviest she weighed just over seven kilos which I’m told is the size of two cats. Despite her weight (which is actually improving thank Christ) the vet assures me that she is in perfect health, which backs up my theory that she is pure malevolent evil and will never die. George is lazy, massively disobedient, prone to spontaneous and unprovoked outbursts of violence, spiteful, unhygienic, devious, annoying, distrustful and aggressive towards strangers (and people she knows), greedy, mean and homophobic (probably). She is probably the worst behaved cat in the world and she seems to do it deliberately but is she actually a psychopath? Let’s find out using the Hare Test to determine Psychopathy (as it applies to our furry feline friends).
There are 20 different elements on the Hare Test which are used to characterise Psychopathic tendencies in individuals, starting with :-
- Glibness/Superficial Charm
According to the Hare Test, all Psychopaths are ostensibly charming individuals when you first meet them, this is how they are able to manipulate others successfully, George actually scores well on this one. Like all cats she can appear to be friendly, she’ll come up to you and rub her face on your leg and purr and when I’m sat on the sofa she’ll come and sit on me and she actually seems quite friendly but SHE JUST WANTS FOOD! That’s all that motivates her, once she realises you’re not going to feed her she will become angry and aggressive and often bitey. She’s not really clever enough to really appear friendly, her displays of affection usually just come off as creepy and weird but she probably is capable of fooling an amateur in to giving her some tuna so I’ll give her a tick for this one.
2. Grandiose sense of self worth
Tick. She is a cat after all so was always going to score highly here.
3. Pathological lying
Absolutely. She plays my girlfriend and I off against each other in order to get extra meals. Mrs Bad-Tripe will come home early and feed George, George knows that I know that Mrs BT doesn’t always feed her when she comes home so when I come home she will come up to me frantically meowing like she hasn’t been fed in weeks so that I feed her again! To be fair this has worked on numerous occasions so well done George but there is no doubt that she is incapable of honest behaviour, big tick for this one.
See above. Tick. Another example would be meowing at 4am to try and convince me that it’s time to get up and feed her, this has also worked on a few occasions.
5. Lack of remorse or guilt
Interestingly George, like all cats, cannot be trained but she also does not respond to punitive measures. I have one of those little water sprayers that people use to give their plants a spritzing and when George is nagging me for food or meowing at 4am or scratching my sofa to bits I give her a little spray to let her know that this is naughty. All that’s happened is that she’s managed to train herself to not fear water, she knows it won’t hurt her, and although she certainly doesn’t like it, she now will not show even a flicker of emotion when I spray her and she will never let the threat of a dowsing stop her from going about her evil business, so yes a tick for this one.
6. Emotionally shallow
Definitely. George’s emotional range is basically just; hungry-sleepy-hateful.
7. Callous/Lack of empathy
If I died, she would probably wait about 10 seconds before feasting gleefully on my corpse, so yeah, tick for this one.
8. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
She once pounced on my girlfriend while she was crossing the living room with a well steeped bowl of muesli. George swiped at Mrs BT’s foot, eliciting a scream and a stumble which sent the semi-firm, cement like cereal mixture flying all over the sofa and the wall. If you’ve ever tried to clean a full bowl of milk and congealed muesli off a fabric sofa you will know it’s no easy task. George just flounced off with a look that said, “Bitch should learn how to handle her bowl properly.” The Prosecution rests.
9. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
Interesting one this. I do try to play with George all the time, she particularly likes fighting and to be fair she is actually really good at catching, that’s her one skill. I flick her cuddly bunny toy with my foot and she can catch it from a surprising range of angles and distances. This doesn’t hold her interest for very long though because if I’m the one initiating the game then she just thinks it’s some sort of trick or that I’m subversively mocking her and then she disengages. George’s need for stimulation seems to manifest itself in obnoxious, attention seeking behaviour. If her requests for food have been repeatedly rebuked then she will go and start scratching the sofa or flinging her cat litter all over the room just to get a reaction. Basically she thrives on drama and she gains much more satisfaction from causing trouble and pissing me off rather than just mutually enjoyable frolics, so yeah, tick.
10. Parasitic lifestyle
Contributes absolutely nothing to the household so yes.
11. Lack of realistic long term goals
She plans to get food, but that is obviously short term. I’ve no idea what her long term goals may be but if she has any I’ll bet they’re not in the least bit realistic. Probably something along the lines of “Kill my oppressive overlords and start my own dictatorship where all my subjects must pay daily homage to me with offerings of roast chicken which is of course my favourite food.” So basically she’s living in a dream world.
She knows that if she attacks my girlfriend that she is in for an absolute rollicking but she literally cannot stop herself from doing it. The missus was walking with a drink once and I could actually see the cogs moving in George’s brain as she lay in wait on the rug thinking, “She’s got bare feet and she’s carrying a drink I have to swipe at her foot, I have to, but they might drown me in the shower like they’ve previously threatened, I need to swipe her foot, she’ll spill the drink, she might catch me, oh fuck I’ve done it.” Then she tried to run away but had actually moved on to the laminate wood flooring which is slippery and so as fast as her legs tried to move, she went nowhere. Then the wife threw a clothes airer at her for some reason?
Yes, she’s completely irresponsible with no respect for anyone.
14. Poor behavioural controls
Don’t think this needs any further clarification.
15. Early behavioural problems
When I first got George, I got her from a bit of a dodgy area of Sheffield. The author is not a snob but there are certain parts of the city where it’s generally best not to venture alone but I wanted a cat so I went. I picked George because of all the cats that were there she actually seemed the most docile. When I got her home she slept for like two days and was really chilled out. Then it dawned on me that the cat sellers had been openly smoking weed in the living room when I went round so actually George was just stoned. When she eventually came round she must’ve been craving some monster munch and a cheese and onion pasty and when these weren’t forthcoming she definitely became way more of a handful. In all honesty though I think George’s early behaviour was just pretty standard kitten behaviour so I may have to let her off this one. She’s always been quite weird though.
16. Juvenile Delinquency
She’s always been a bit of a delinquent and it was definitely her early teens (in cat years) where she really started to hit her stride and test the boundaries of common decency and my patience so I think this definitely applies.
17. Revocation of conditional release
Erm…..kind of. I used to live in a top floor flat so George has always been a house cat. When I first got her I did live in a house and tried to make her go outside but she seemed to show no interest whatsoever and would just cling to the sofa like a drowninig victim on a piece of driftwood so I sacked it off. Recently I moved in to a ground floor flat and decided to let her go outside and she took to it quite well. I couldn’t believe that George was going outside and having adventures like a real cat, or so I thought. I was chatting to my neighbour who owns the basement flat downstairs (the brilliantly named, Ekow) and I said keep an eye out for my cat, to which he replied “Oh George and I are already well acquainted.” It turns out that on her first trip out she’d managed to get downstairs (squeezing through a very tight fence in the process which you wouldn’t have said was physically possible if you saw it) and entered the basement flat via the French doors. Ekow received a phonecall from his girlfriend who said she thought there was an animal in the flat. Ekow got home, looked around and couldn’t find anything so he sat down on the bed in consternation. Then, all of a sudden the bed covers moved and made a noise, lo and behold it was George!! All she’d done instead of going out and exploring the great wide world was to infiltrate the nearest bed she could find. A stand-off ensued with George having claimed the bed as her own and Ekow was unable to get her to move. Eventually he managed to get her out somehow but not without “A lot of hissing and growling.” Naturally I was mortified as, if anything is guaranteed to give your new neighbours a bad impression of you, it’s George. So I very nearly revoked her conditional release but not quite ‘cos I need her out the house.
18. Criminal Versatility
She’s the size of a fucking rugby ball and managed to squeeze herself through a fence gap no bigger than an iPhone, she can also leap like a salmon to get up on the kitchen counter to eat my leftover curry so yeah I’d say she is pretty versatile in her criminality. Kudos George.
19. Many short term marital relationships
As far as I know George has never been married.
20. Promiscuous sexual behaviour
I absolutely shudder to think.
So there you go. I think we can categorically conclude that George is indeed a certifiable psychopath and should probably be locked up in a secure institution somewhere. However, I feel that this clinical study raises more questions than it answers. Are animals aware of their own behaviour? Do they have the ability to draw distinction between right and wrong or are they operating purely on instinct? At what point does the need for survival give way to greed or self indulgent behaviour? Are all psychopaths a product of their environment or are they hardwired to behave in a certain way? Who the fuck knows. These existential dilemmas will keep for another day.
I should tell you all that I would not change George for the world, she’s the funniest animal ever and I love her dearly and do my best to care for her properly and responsibly despite never getting even so much as a crumb of gratitude from the beastly little swine. She may be a psychopath, but she’s my psychopath.