Bernie the Hoarder

Bernie on his mat

(photo by me) 

Hoarding. An issue many of us have personal experience with or know of through reality TV shows like Hoarders or Confessions: Animal Hoarders.

Books have been written and films have been made about famous hoarders like Homer and Langley Collyer and Long Island socialites Edith Bouvier Beale (“Little Edie”) and her mother Edith Ewing Bouvier (“Big Edie”) .

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(The Collyer Brothers home, 1947 – http://www.nydailynews.com)

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(“Little Edie” – http://www.collegefashion.net)

He might not be rich or famous, but Bernie the Cat may have succumbed to their ranks as well. He is neither a compulsive shopper (so we have not gone bankrupt, thank goodness),  nor does he save reams of old newspapers and other paraphernalia, but does like things.

At first we noticed the shoes. He would lay his head on my sneakers or put his nose inside them, often falling asleep this way.

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Then it was my purse and duffel bag.

Next came the red blanket, which he talks to and drags around the floor in his teeth and kneads with his claws.

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Once I found his scratch mat, toy alligator and toy bird wrapped inside the blanket as he was dragging it. Alarming!

Last week we found him laying on Lorin’s computer apparatus and extension cords in the basement, seemingly taking possession of them.

He likes to build a fort consisting of my purse, duffel bag and the red blanket. He is not happy when one of his objects is taken away.

Is it time for an intervention?

Hopefully, with love, support and patience, we will get through this as a family, and not have to seek professional help.

Have any of you experienced hoarding with your non-human companions?