Thursday, April 29, 2010
A local cat says “battle stress” resulting from playing the Xbox game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare led him to routinely and compulsively pee on countertops.
The cat, Seamus, a 5-year-old, neutered, Russian Blue, has reportedly been “peeing on and marking kitchen and/or bathroom countertops, specifically corner areas, for over a period of 6 months” according to police.
Battle stress, also referred to as post traumatic stress disorder, is a term often used to categorize behavior resulting from the stress of war. Common symptoms include fatigue, slow reaction, indecision, disconnection from reality, and the overeating of cookies.
Realistic and violent scenes like this one may have contributed to Seamus’ battle stress
Seamus said he would play the game for hours on end, sometimes forgoing sleep and food, because the game was so engrossing and realistic.
Shortly after, he was caught peeing on the countertops at odd hours, sometimes black-eyed and crouched into strange positions, as if expecting enemy attack.
“I knew I was in trouble when one time I was watching a home movie with friends,” said Seamus. “In it, someone came suddenly came out of a door and into the room, I instinctively grabbed my remote and tried to ‘shoot’ them with it. It was very embarrassing.”
Seamus said this specific kitchen countertop corner gave him a “great covering fire” position
Like many veterans suffering from combat stress, Seamus had begun to withdraw from others, talk to himself, and eat crunchy peanut butter by the forkful.
Seamus reportedly even wore the same pair of Calvin Klein underpants for 4 months straight, believing them to be “lucky” and refused to wash them. Eventually, his family staged an intervention.
“When he did talk, it was cryptic,” said ex-girlfriend Lady Isadora Daisy Bingmann-Ryan, a 1-year-old Domestic Short Hair. “He would talk in code and tell me that since I was a civilian, I couldn’t understand. He asked me to start calling him ‘Hitman Actual.’”
Izzie told the Gazette Seamus would instruct her to “…hide up there are watch my six”
In the first year of the game‘s release, 1,019 cats were incarcerated for various forms of urinary and other misconduct, said a game representative, who coordinates a combat stress program.
At least 329 of the cats showed evidence of serious mental health problems, which they attribute to the “realistic violence and excitement” of the video game.
Seamus’ family urged that "any cat or dog who commits particularly uncharacteristic misconduct following any virtual deployment be aggressively screened for stress disorders and treated."
Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Seamus Photos: Thanks to Seamus
Izzie Photo: Thanks to Jenny Lee Ryan
Posted by The Kitty City Gazette at 11:44 AM