'I can live again': Woman who lived in squalid mess of cat and human waste sobs after Hoarders team transforms her home
A woman who has been living surrounded by cat excrement and human faeces has had her home transformed by bio-hazard cleaners and refurbishment teams after facing eviction by city inspectors.
Jan, an artist in Canyon, Texas had confined herself to her bedroom and allowed her twenty cats take over the house until television series 'Hoarders' came to the rescue and changed her life for good.
'My kitchen is the worst room,' she told cameras on the A&E show. 'It's just a mountain of cat crap. You
have to step up to get in because the cat crap is so high.'
Squalid: A woman in Canyon, Texas neglected her home to such an extent that the kitchen was covered in cat faeces and her toilet bowl was overflowing with human excrement
Make over! A&E's 'Hoarders' sent in a team in to clean, strip and paint the house but first they had to employ bio-hazard cleaners to remove the excrement covering every inch of the property
But the kitchen it transpired, was a mere glimpse of the filth and decay. The mother of one also confessed : 'The bathroom is horrible- there's a pile of human crap in my toilet.
pee in a bottle and I poop in that horrible pile of s*** but the
light is off so I pretend I don't know what's going on.'
Victim or culprit Jan described herself as an artists who makes jewelry and plays on the internet and doesn't look after herself very well. She blamed the state of her home on a series of family problems
After authorities were alerted to the
hygiene and sanitation risk, they visited the property and promptly
told Jan she would not be allowed to return to her home at all unless
she cleaned up within two weeks.
Facing the reality of the
filth and squalor in which she had allowed herself to dwell, the jewelry
maker was overcome with shame. 'I live in inhuman conditions,' she
choked through tears. 'I'm ashamed. I'm very ashamed.'
What a waste: Jan admitted that she was peeing into a bottle and going to the loo with the lights off so she could pretend she didn't know that the toilet bowl was overflowing with her excrement
Here kitty…When Jan's partner left her for another woman, she let her twenty cats take over the house while confining herself to the bedroom to avoid the horrifying reality
And this is where I eat.. .'My kitchen is the worst room,' Jan told cameras on the A&E show. 'It's just a mountain of cat crap. You have to step up to get in because the cat crap is so high'
More than three million people suffer from compulsive hoarding, a mental
disorder that the show describes as 'marked by an obsessive need to
acquire and keep things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or
Jan met with
clinical psychologist, Dr Robyn Zasio, a compulsive hoarder specialist,
who on walking into the space, was overwhelmed by the stench and the
scene before her. 'This is one of the most horrific images I've seen in
my life,' she admitted.
Deadly: Jan (left), her daughter Georgia (middle) and her sister Pam (right) are told by a bio-hazard cleaner that one of her cats has died of ammonia poisoning. All of Jan's cats have been sent to be tested for disease
Pooh! Jan's daughter Georgia used to spray herself with perfume to hide the stench of cat pee that she was sure emanated from her clothes. She finally escaped the horror when she went to college
Recollecting the series of events
that had led her to neglect her home and health to such an extent, Jan
assured the mental health doctor: 'I've always been messy but my house
looked like a house.'
But things took a turn for the worse after her father's death in 1992, she explained, which took an emotional toll on her.
To cope with the loss, she
began taking anti-depressants but shortly after the tragedy came
another blow that plunged her further into depression.
Real help: Jan's house was not the only thing that needed attention. She met with a clinical psychologist who explained to Jan that she had been punishing herself by living this way
Transformation: While Jan was taken to a beauty spa for some restorative beautifying, her house was scrubbed from top to bottom by professionals
When the father of her own daughter, Georgia, informed her he was leaving her for a woman who was pregnant with their child. Jan stopped caring about anything and left her twenty odd cats to roam freely, defaecating wherever they wanted.
Her daughter, who still
lived at home was mortified by the conditions. 'I was very worried that
people could smell me.' she said. 'I couldn't even leave
the house without like spraying myself with ridiculous amounts of
'It was stressing me out to the point where I couldn't handle
it.' Escaping the horror of her home life, she left her mother to go to college.
Junk heap: Aside from the dirt, the house was filled to the brim with rubbish, all of which was thrown away
Get the hint: An ironing board and iron replace the mountains of junk after Jan's sister and daughter helped cleaners
For Jan, this was the straw that
broke camel's back. She no longer saw any reason to clean the house.
Recalling her feeling of hopelessness she said: 'There was no one to
impress, no one to feel responsible for.'
Neither Jan's sister, Pam,
nor Georgia had any idea just how bad the situation had become over the
years. That is, until Dr Zasio insisted that Jan show them around
before the cleaners came in.
The final straw: 'I never dreamed it was this bad and I'm sorry,' sobbed Pam as she witnessed first hand the conditions her sister had been living in
Jan's daughter Georgia had her mother to stay while she wondered what to do with her house but said she couldn't live with her for much longer. She had also been unaware of the extent of the squalor
never dreamed it was this bad and I'm sorry,' her sister sobbed on
seeing the mountain of human waste overflowing from the toilet bowl and
the filth covering every inch of the walls and floors. When asked what
sorry for she replied: 'That I didn't help her more.'
Dr Zasio treated Jan to a surprise trip to a beauty salon to help heal
'mind, body and soul' and restore some of her self-esteem, a team of
bio-hazard cleaners and painters took over the house.
Bed bound: Jan stayed in her room while her twenty cats roamed free. 'I live in inhuman conditions,' she had choked through tears. 'I'm ashamed. I'm very ashamed'
Boudoir: Once the bio-hazard cleaners had done their job, the 'Hoarders' team got painters and re-decorators in to spray paint and scrub every nook and cranny and refurbish
One bio-hazard worker even watched as a cat that had been living in the bathroom, died of ammonia poisoning in front of him.
In only an hour, they gutted, stripped, cleaned, repainted and refurnished the entire house.
Scene of the crime: The house in Canyon, Texas where inspectors had posted a notice of eviction
When Jan returned, she was faced with a transformation beyond her wildest imagination and immediately broke down into tears. 'Oh my god', she exclaimed, as she walked through the house, almost hyperventilating. 'This is so pretty.'
'I can live again,' she told the cameras. 'I can be a person again.'
'Hoarders' is on A&E, Mondays at 9 p.m. EST