Is This Normal?: Susan

What's Up, Pussycat?
A woman who takes care of more than 15 cats asks Dr. Phil if her behavior is normal.

Susan has two cats of her own and takes care of 15 strays. She wakes up at the crack of dawn to feed all of her cats, and always keeps her car stocked with cat food so that she can help any other hungry strays she finds along the way.

"I care about cats and feel hurt when I see them hungry," she says. "Dr. Phil, is it normal for me to take care of so many cats?" she asks.

"This is a perfect example of there not being a [standard of] 'normal,'" says Dr. Phil. "It all depends on whether it's disrupting something or not."

Although Susan's boss recently made a comment about her "losing her focus" because of the cats, she says the felines haven't interfered with her work or personal life. She has a boyfriend that actually likes the cats!

"Looking after that many cats is strange," says Susan's father, Austin. "I looked out from her balcony once and saw a huge armadillo eating out of the receptacle that she feeds these feral cats out of. I worry about diseases being spread...like bubonic plague."

Susan's mother, Marlene, says it's perfectly normal. "She has two at home. I told her not to take any more or she'd be known as the 'crazy cat lady.'"

"It's normal if you can fold it into your life and it doesn't disrupt things," says Dr. Phil. "If it makes you unable to manage your time, distracts you from your job, or subjects you to disease, then you have to say 'Hey, I need some balance here.' Other than that, enjoy your cats " and if your boyfriend likes them, you'd better hold onto him!"