Singaporean media recently reported the bizarre divorce case of a couple whose separation was largely caused by the wife’s obsession with cats, which eventually drove her husband out of their house.
In a sentence issued on May 21, Judge Sheik Mustafa Abu Hassan pronounced the official divorce of a couple that been married for 45 years, but separated for the last 14 years.
The couple, neither of whom were named during the court proceedings to protect their identities, had reportedly married in 1975 and had three children over the course of their marriage.
A number of incidents and reasons for the divorce were cited by the husband, the most unusual of which was definitely his wife’s obsession with cats.
When his reading his verdict, Judge Abu Hassan said that the couple’s marital problems started around the year 1997, when the wife developed an obsession with felines.
Her late mother had allegedly appeared in her dreams and told her to be kind to cats, and the woman started believing that taking care of the purring animals was her only way to “cross into Paradise”.
As the woman’s obsession grew, she started going around feeding stray cats and bringing some of them back home with her. This went on for years, and as their home became a smelly shelter for stray cats, the man’s patience started to wear thin.
“This feline collection created quite a nuisance. The cats roamed around the home freely. They were not toilet-trained and would urinate and defecate indiscriminately,” the Judge’s motivation read.
“There was a stench of cat feces and urine emanating from the matrimonial home, which led to numerous complaints by neighbors.
The police and other authorities turned up and warned the wife. Nevertheless, she did not cease her feline collection.”
Unable to sleep in their marital bed, which was “constantly defiled” by the cats, the husband started sleeping on a mat instead, but by 2003 it all became too much to bear and he felt he had no choice but to call the police.
But, even after witnessing the conditions in which he was forced to live, they told him that this was a domestic issue and that there was nothing they could do.
The man started avoiding his wife as much as he could and managed to stick around until 2006 when an incident proved to be the last straw.
After waking up to find that one of his wife’s cats had urinated on him, he moved out of the family home and went to live with his brother.
The judge’s motivation also mention other incidents which only eroded the couple’s relationship even more, like the fact that his wife took several hundreds of thousands of dollars out of his pension account, but noted that their troubles had originally caused by her obsession with cats.
The wife had tried to drag out the divorce for as long as possible, in an alleged attempt to prevent having to divide their family home, but Judge Sheik Mustafa Abu Hassan felt like there was no possibility of reconciliation, especially after more than a decade of separation.
“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,” the judge 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.”