A judge in Singapore has granted a divorce to a 70-year-old man who was driven to desperation by his wife’s obsession with cats.
His wife says she was visited in a dream by her late mother, who told her to be kind to cats, for it was the only way she would “cross into paradise.”
The woman took the dream seriously, feeding strays and taking them home.
“This feline collection created quite a nuisance,” Judge Sheik Mustafa said. “The cats roamed around the home freely. They were not toilet-trained and would urinate and defecate indiscriminately.”
Things got worse as the fecal output increased in proportion to the number of cats the woman adopted. Neighbors called police to complain about the “stench of cat faeces and urine emanating from the matrimonial home.”
The woman’s husband was running out of patience too: With his bed “constantly defiled” by cat poop, he started sleeping on a mat.
Cops warned the woman to curtail her cat collection, per Singapore’s Today, but she kept collecting them like Pokemon. In 2003 — six years after his wife’s allegedly prophetic dream — the man called police again and begged them to do something, but the cops said it was a domestic dispute and declined to arrest his wife or otherwise interfere beyond giving her another warning.
The final straw? The man was sleeping on his mat one night in 2007 when he woke up soaked to find one of the cats urinating on his face.
He left the couple’s two-story terrace home permanently and moved in with his brother-in-law, who presumably knew his sister had gone off the deep end and was sympathetic to her husband’s plight.
The cats weren’t the only issue in the marriage: The husband alleges the wife estranged him from their children, and the wife helped herself to half her husband’s retirement pension, reasoning that she was entitled to it even though they’d been separated for years.
The wife had also been embroiled in a legal battle with a domestic servant. The maid, who helped care for the army of cats, said she wasn’t paid. The woman in turn accused the maid of killing 40 of her cats. The judge sided with the maid.
Neither party was named in legal documents from Singaporean courts. Mustafa issued his decision on May 21.
After years of fighting the divorce to avoid having to split or sell the home they owned, the wife finally agreed to a divorce settlement, ending their 45-year marriage, with Mustafa ruling that “on a balance of probabilities, the husband has proved his case.”
“I considered the possibility of reconciliation. I find that there is none. The parties’ attitudes are utterly not compromising; the husband is insistent on ending the marriage, and the wife is in vehement refusal to end the marriage,” Mustafa said. “The couple have been consciously estranged from each other for 15 years. That is a long period of time by any measure. There is no ember of love or affection left to rekindle.”