The term 'crazy cat lady' has been around for a while, and poplarized in The Simpsons. It represents a specific stereotype of a somewhat single older woman with large numbers of semi-feral cats that she feeds precariously and does not effectively clean up after them. Having large numbers of cats in this kind of condition often is a form of animal hoarding, related to obsessive-compulsive behavior. There was even marketed an action figure of a crazy cat lady.
The stereotype almost always involves a middle-aged female. But why are the possible concepts 'crazy cat gentleman' or 'crazy cat couple' not also floating around?
And why does no one refer to 'crazy dog lady' or 'crazy dog couple'?
Anyway, how many cats constitutes animal hoarding? From what I've read, five cats is seen as a possible dividing line; but this allows for some wiggle room. For example, are the cats well-fed and comfortable? Are the surroundings neat and clean? Is the caretaker able to live comfortably, without undue noise or odors and be able to have a normal life? If so, no problem. The bounds of obsessive-compulsive behavior are somewhat flexible.
And what if the person in question is trying to save or revive an endangered breed of cats? Obviously, these might not be seen as animal hoarders; but as protectors of endangered breeds. Or even geneticists.
Here's Dr. Lyudmilla Trut, a Russian geneticist who continued the work in domesticating the Russian domesticated red fox. Following a line of research by Dmitri Belyaev, she was able to breed over time a subvariety of fox that looked and acted more like dogs than their wild counterparts. Since her interest was genetic, she should in no way be called a 'crazy fox lady,' or simply a 'foxy lady.' Indeed, Dr. Trut has been involved in a classic, ongoing breeding study that broke some new ground on genetics and environment. Her research needs to be more widely known than is currently the case.
As a bonus, she wound up with cuddly, serious dog-like foxes that are totally adorable!
15 hours ago