Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following from the Lovefraud reader who posts as NewLife43.
I not only read Lovefraud to help me with the backlash from my 8-year relationship with my spath. I also read an interesting blog written by and for sociopaths, answering some of their questions, presenting criteria about what makes a sociopath what s/he is. It’s very enlightening, particularly when I am sorely missing my ex-spath and need to remind myself why we are no longer together. Since it’s on the Internet, the spaths are surprisingly honest. Sometimes, the posts can be very chilling, when they are honestly posting about the way they think, causing a shiver to run down my spine that I escaped from such trauma. It helps me to have gratitude and a sense of good fortune I am no longer caught up in that mess. And I stop missing him, which was the whole point of reading the site.
An interesting question that came up on their board was: Do animals have a sense of morality?
This question was derived from one of the spaths reading an article that was printed in the British online publication, The Telegraph. That article was entitled, Animals can tell right from wrong.
One of the spath responses to the article was that of course, evolution played a HUGE part in our human abilities to be empathetic and moral, citing dolphins, great apes and even elephants as being altruistic and helpful to other members of their flock, pack, herd, etc. with no apparent gain to themselves. They can even be helpful to other species. (For instance, dolphins protecting humans from sharks). But of course, sociopaths missed the boat when it came to empathy.
Another of the respondents said that cats were probably psychopathic. I beg to differ and told them so. Here is my response to the sociopath article:
Over the years, I’ve had several cats. Currently, I have a two-year-old little guy, who I can honestly say is sociopathic, intent only on himself and what I can do for him. He derives great pleasure from me, but shows no emotion or feelings back to me unless it can benefit him in some way. Then he can charm the pants off me. He is a great troublemaker to boot and plagues everyone in the household (animals included) with his actions! Lots of fights are started by this little cat, while he walks away smirking. Very smart, easily bored, destroys household items for the fun of it and targets others. He doesn’t have an altruistic bone in his body. HMMM…sounds sociopathic to me! He gets thrown outside A LOT but never seems to learn from the consequences of his bad behavior. Sigh!
I have another cat, whom I’ve had for 18 years; she wants to know the rules and not only follows them to a “T” but expects all the other cats in the household to follow them also…or she will beat the “carp” out of them. Routines are to be observed at all costs. She has to be let in and out at certain times, food and water have to be fresh and put down on a certain schedule, etc. Although she is very reserved, she can also be very loving on rare occasions (funnily enough, to me only, I suppose as the main caregiver), but it is genuine, as she never wastes time with false emotions. She is honest through and through. Definitely OCD, though, don’t you think? Think “Monk” here.
Finally, I have a very sweet, loving black cat who is 13 years old. His sole purpose in life is to find a way to spend all his time with me. If I sit down, he is in my lap; going to bed, he not only wants to sleep with me but also has to be as close as he can, preferably touching my skin in some way. He always stops and thanks me for his food, before he dives in to eat. Follows me everywhere. And he is incredibly empathetic, always knowing when I am sad and offering comfort to the best of his ability. My friends marvel at this loyal little cat, who pesters them to go home at the end of the evening, so that we can go to bed together! Apparently, he can’t go to bed without me. One friend said he was worse than her husband! No other creature in the world has ever loved me like this, including my kids and two ex-husbands. And I don’t treat him any differently than my other cats, so I don’t know why I deserve so much love. Empath, borderline…I don’t know. I just know he loves me very much and shows it. And he was born that way.
So, no, not all cats are sociopaths. But from my experience, I would have to say, all have different personality disorders/traits, just like humans. Certainly completely different from each other. Since I treat them all the same, I have to conclude that they are the product of their genetics, i.e., they came to me that way, I didn’t make them the way they are. Just like the world is not environmentally responsible for creating sociopaths; you were all born that way, and there is nothing we “NORMALS” can do about it, except to stay as far away from you as possible, for our own sakes. Surely, you spaths can understand self-protection and putting ourselves ahead of you. For once. And if you lack the ability to understand that, well, as my ex-spath was so fond of saying to me, “I DON’T CARE!” 🙂