Mother forced daughter to eat cat food, caged her with rats for 26 years to 'protect her from outside world'
A mother forced her daughter to survive on "cat food" while keeping her isolated from the outside world for more than two decades. Tatyana had caged her daughter Nadezhda Bushueva to “protect her from the dangers of the outside world”. The shocking story came to light only recently – Tatyana was hospitalized and Nadezhda, who is now a 42-year-old woman, escaped from the cabin in Arefinsky village in western Russia, where she had been kept for 26 years, The Sun reported.
The mother-daughter duo had lived in the hovel-like cabin, which they shared with a bunch of cats and rats. Their home had no electricity or running water since Nadezhda was 16 years old. It has been reported that Nadezhda was house arrested by her mother soon after she finished school. Tatyana did not even allow her to work or to continue her studies, local council leader Vasily Tovarnov said. Nadezhda also reportedly said that she became "used to it" and did not try to escape from the house. The pair became increasingly isolated after Tatyana retired. The mother also rejected help from social services and other officials.
However, when Tatyana fell ill, the pair had to leave their home. Nadezhda then went to Tovarnov’s office where she shared her ordeal. She told officials that their house was full of rats and cats and the two women slept in the same bed. She also claimed that when the cats and rats died, they did not clear out the decomposing bodies. The woman said she had not taken a bath since 2006. “My life is worse than a cat’s life. Cats have more rights. I don’t even exist anymore. I’m the living dead. I need a workplace, I need a passport,” Nadezhda added.
“Nadezhda came to my office by herself. We wanted to feed her, we prepared her sandwiches, but she didn’t eat anything. But she is not insane,” Tovarnov said.
Local media reports stated that due to her confined life for over two decades, Nadezhda has no idea how the outside world works. She was even not able to travel to the hospital when her mother was hospitalized. The reason for her mother’s admission to the hospital was not unknown, but some speculated it may have been a stroke.
Many have commented on how the 42-year-old Nadezhda looks after living in such adverse conditions. Sveta Yarosheva said, “She has such a beautiful face, I feel sorry for her.” While Nikita Pavlov added: "At 42 she still looks young despite the conditions." However, it was not clear how Yarosheva and Pavlov knew Nadezhda.
In a similar incident, in 2019, four children were found living in a filthy dog poo-littered flat that was infested with cockroaches and bedbugs. The kids - two girls and two boys - were unable to even speak. The shocking incident came to light after a video of the 'Mowgli home' was shot by a neighbor and posted on social media to force the authorities to act.
According to official sources, the mother of the kids, Natalia, had been given many chances to “mend her ways” but she never did. “We have warned her many times,” a source said. Resident Anastasia Bikovskaya, who knows the family, said: "The dog in the video is hers. But she has more dogs. She takes animals to a temporary shelter in her flat.”