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(If the headline isn't enough of a warning, here's another: the video above is disgusting and disturbing. Proceed with caution and without food in your mouth.)
Last night's episode of Hoarders profiled Terry, a cashier who is the cat lady to end all cat ladies. "I always thought the more the merrier," she said, which meant opening her doors to as many strays as came her way. For a while, she was getting them spayed and then she ran out of money. What that led to was a house covered in cat shit, coated in "tons of fecal dust" and crawling with sick animals. In the end, out of the 49 that were living with Terry when the Hoarders crew showed up, 18 were healthy enough to be saved. Terry got to keep none and will be arrested if she ever tries again.
We've seen animal hoarders before (Animal Planet airs a show devoted to it), but nothing close to the likes of Terry, whose house had enough of an ammonia smell to make a kitten's eyes pop out. Oh yeah, she also kept dozens of dead animal carcases (including not just cats, but also a cardinal, a bunny, mice, chipmunks, squirrels and unidentified roadkill) in her fridge in the hope of eventually getting them stuffed. Also found: a partially liquified cat in a freezer bag stuffed in a closet.
Terry is sad and damaged like the average Hoarders subject, but the conditions that she had these animals suffering in is enraging. This episode was so hard for so many people to watch because of that. Think of it as the Cannibal Holocaust principle — once you introduce real animal suffering into your horror show, you turn infinitely more stomachs than if you'd just stuck to the humans. Hoarders always seems to be searching for a way to top itself, as it exists to shock (at least in part). The producers will have a hard time ever topping Terry's story. I don't wish them luck.