SEAN: I know I came to work covered in scratches and oozing blood, but I kept telling myself it was my own fault. I made him do it to me–he didn’t want to, but I made him.

BETTY: I was mauled so badly that I needed stitches and reconstructive surgery. But it was just a love mauling, I said; she was just playing, it’s nothing serious.

TREVOR: She plunged her daggerlike claws into my junk while sitting on my lap so hard that I’m now unable to sire children and have to use a colostomy bag to pee. But it’s okay, I told people, she just doesn’t know her own strength.

ANNOUNCER: Do these sound like you? Do you find yourself making excuses for violent behavior inflicted upon you? Do you conceal or lie about injuries you receive at home? Are you convinced that the injuries are your own fault? If so, you may be one of millions of Americans suffering from cat abuse.

SEAN: I would get scratched whenever Sparkles had a bad day, whenever he thought there wasn’t enough food in his bowl, and sometimes when he was just bored. I was afraid to talk to anyone, afraid to leave the house, because of how badly he might scratch me when I got back. I thought it was my fault.

BETTY: There’s a pervasive culture that enables cat abuse. My fellow owners told me it was fine, it was normal to be mauled to within an inch of my life. The vet was unsympathetic, saying I must have done something to deserve it or that it took two to make a quarrel or that the near fatal-maulings were just near-fatal love.

TREVOR: I quietly suffered through my cat abuse problem, convinced that there was nothing I could do about it. I didn’t realize that there were people I could turn to for help. But there are.

ANNOUNCER: If your cat is subjecting you to physical or mental abuse, if you exist in a state of toxic codependency with your feline, act now. Get help. There is no excuse for cat abuse, and you don’t want to end up dead with your cats as the sole beneficiaries to your will.

SEAN: You can get help.

BETTY: You can get help.

TREVOR: You can get help.

ANNOUNCER: Cat abuse wounds or kills more pet owners per year than any other pet-related causes aside from Gerbil Ick. Stop the cycle of abuse. Go to your local animal shelter. Together, we can change an enabling society and stop cat abuse.

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