A man has sparked a furious debate online, after claiming he swapped his wife’s cat for an identical one that was better-behaved.
The husband posted his secret on Reddit’s True Off My Chest subreddit, under the fitting username Throwawaycatswap.
Since sharing his transfer on Tuesday, the post has racked up more than 57,000 upvotes with people in disbelief over the event.
He claimed the switcheroo happened six years ago, when his wife was just his girlfriend.
He explained: “She had an all black cat that was extremely aggressive. It scratched everyone, hissed at everyone, and didn’t use its litterbox half the time. My wife insisted she could get it to behave better. One week she went out of town to visit her family and I was supposed to go to her apartment and feed it.”
Things deteriorated as soon as he went over to look after it, and that’s when he hatched his devious plan.
He continued: “The first night I went over, it scratched the s*** out of my arm. I joked to the cat that it’s not special and I’ll replace it if it scratches again. The joke stuck with me until I had thought about it enough that it wasn’t a joke. The next morning I went to the local animal shelter.
“Found an identical cat who was already litterbox trained and acclimated to people, but was a little skittish (it’s old owner died of a heart attack and the animal shelter people said they think that’s why it was skittish). But overall, it was a lot friendlier and better behaved, and the skittishness would help it resemble the original cat.”
He decided to take it home and swap it with the cat he didn’t like.
“So I adopted it, took it to my wife’s apartment, settled it in, then drove her original cat to an animal shelter a town over (I was paranoid my wife would find out if I took it to a local one),” he said.
Incredibly he claimed his wife never suspected anything, and still believes the pet is her original cat.
He added: “It’s been 6 years since then. We got married 4 years ago. We still have the swapped cat. It answers to the original cat’s name. My wife knows nothing. She loves this cat and brags about how much better behaved it is. Every time I see it, I feel like a total piece of s***.”
In response to numerous people claiming the shelter probably euthanized the original cat, he clarified: “I just double-checked and the shelter I dropped it off at was and still is a no-kill shelter.”
Despite that, numerous people have criticized his actions, while some have questioned if the story is true, claiming his wife would have noticed her cat was different.
Jay_veeeee commented: “Omg I’ve read some wild s*** in here but this is definitely a first. My jaw is still on the floor tbh.”
TrayusV claimed: “I feel absolutely horrible for the original cat. He had a home, and then he was suddenly taken away and sent to a shelter, where he probably died. Alone, without his owner that he loved in his own way.
“I’d definitely separate from someone if they did this. I wouldn’t need to jump to divorce, but I’d want some time to wait. And I’d go track down the original cat. This just breaks my heart.”
Dirty_Shisno_ thought: “If this is real, under no circumstances should you EVER tell her. You will completely destroy her trust.”
Funeralfairy reckoned: “If this dude would literally do something as big as replacing his spouse’s pet I can’t imagine what other things he has definitely lied about and or hidden.”
Bakarac agreed, saying: “Right? But to be tricked like that by your partner in life? I’d be bowing out. Good luck explaining to his next GF why his wife left him.”
Iama_bad_person said: “Delete this post. Delete this account. Never tell anyone, ever. I have seen people divorce for less and I wouldn’t blame her.”
Although some thought it would be impossible to pass another cat off as the original, as DragonFaery13 thought: “Also, every cat has a different meow.”
centaurea_cyanus thought: “Right? Cats have different fur textures, different eye colors, different fur smell, totally different personalities, etc. There’s no way I’d not notice my cats being swapped.”
Cameoloveus added: “Fur texture too. I could tell you which cat it was blindfolded just from touching them. There’s no way.”
While it’s not clear where this happened, in the U.S. 3.2 million cats are surrendered to shelters each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
The website said: “Each year, approximately 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized (390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats). Approximately 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted each year (2 million dogs and 2.1 million cats).
“About 810,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 710,000 are dogs and 100,000 are cats.”
Newsweek reached out to Throwawaycatswap for comment.