Some of us are a little needier than others. And we can get a little cranky when our loyal followers aren’t giving us quite the amount of attention we require to make it through our day.
We know exactly how wonderful we are. We just can’t figure out why everyone else hasn’t figured that out. At least not well enough to realize that we deserve as well as crave that attention.
Some humans might not understand one little cat from Oregon that makes his demands quite clear and vocal. But, some of us absolutely do.
Dougie, a little orange tabby cat, showed up at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (ARL) a few months ago. He was in pretty bad shape, primarily because of his long-term and untreated feline inflammatory bowel disease.
The staff wasn’t sure that Dougie was going to make it. He was malnourished and dehydrated and very weak. But, he hadn’t made it through as many lives as he had to give up now for something as silly as a tummy ache.
He was a fighter, and the staff fought just as hard as he was to keep him alive and thriving. He got a lot of special attention during the weeks that he was being treated, and it was likely those special touches that urged him on.
Finally, Dougie was well enough to be offered for adoption to a special home. But, that wasn’t going to be easy to find.
See, not only would Dougie require special food and a good feeding schedule for the rest of his life. The little yellow fellow also had gotten accustomed to the special care and human contact during his illness.
“He is incredibly social and very people-motivated,” Jeana Roth, director of community engagement for the shelter, told The Dodo. “He always wants to be near the people around him, and meows until he gets affection and attention.”
That’s a very polite and PC way of saying that Dougie could be a real pain in the neck sometimes. The folks at the shelter had been through some really hard times with Dougie.
They had decided to find his personality quirk amusing; they weren’t sure that a new foster or permanent home would be quite so understanding.
Dougie had quite simply decided that he deserved a 24/7 human attendant to be at his beck and call. Some of you with cats are probably saying, “yeah, well, my cat does too, but….”
If you met Dougie you’d understand the dilemma. Dougie wasn’t satisfied to sit quietly and wait for affection. It wasn’t enough for him to do the “weave and dodge” thing around your ankles that cats have down to perfection. Nor was he content to sit back and mew pitifully until someone noticed.
See, Dougie has quite a voice. And he is not afraid to use it. In fact, he seems to sort of enjoy the consternation he causes when he focuses it on a human that isn’t giving him his total due at every moment.
As you pretty likely know, there is no easy way to train a cat to do anything it doesn’t want to do. And Dougie did NOT want to learn to be quiet!
Once the other cats at the shelter heard Dougie pitching a kitty hissy fit, they decided maybe it would work for them. And chaos ensued.
So, it was either keep Dougie satisfied, or get used to sending kitty voice signals into outer space. So, they put their heads together to come up with a solution.
Dougie thought he needed a human body to touch around the clock. It obviously wasn’t feasible to hire an attendant for one single pushy cat. But, that seemed to be the only thing Dougie would accept.
Until, one savvy fellow came up with the idea of putting Dougie in a newborn human baby sling. They looked online to find one that would be suited for a little cat, and when they read the description for the Baby Bjorn, they knew they’d found the solution.
The ad read: “Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Original makes it easy to keep your baby close and secure while you go about your daily activities.” Bingo!
They chose one of Dougie’s favorite people to test drive the new carrier. As you can see, Dougie thinks it’s a perfect combination.
The shelter posted the picture to their Facebook page, offering Dougie for the first time, as a potential adoptee.
“This is Robert, one of our awesome feline team members. And that there is Dougie, a 15-year-old cat who loves nothing more than to be held, 24/7. When he’s not being held, Dougie’s meow can be heard from galaxies far away. So, we thought creatively and decided a baby bjorn allowed Robert to both hold Dougie and do his job effectively 🙂 And, we think it’s pretty much the cutest thing we’ve seen, ever.”
They weren’t the only ones now that were captivated by Dougie’s charms. His photo went viral, and people who understood and appreciated such creative neediness clamored to adopt Dougie.
He was uninterested in his newfound fame, however. He was gearing up to go home with his new mother, social worker Ashley Perkins.
“I was looking for a friend for my cat Jax, and there was Dougie,” Perkins told The Dodo. “Once we saw his age, and his personality type, I knew he was probably going to be a top contender to come home.”
Despite all of the special issues Dougie had created, everyone at the shelter was very sorry to see him leaving. But, when his new owner showed up at the shelter to fill out the final paperwork, no one had any issues at all with Dougie leaving with her. Not when they saw what she was wearing!
Now installed in his new home in Springvale, Maine, Dougie continues to demand the attention he deserves from both cat and human, alike.
“He and Jax have already bonded and they kiss each other and play frequently,” Perkins says. “Dougie wakes me up every day by meowing and patting my face with his paw for snuggle time and his breakfast. If you stop petting him, he will meow to remind you that he wasn’t done with the petting yet.”
Everyone is breathing a big sigh of relief that she too has chosen to find Dougie’s particular neediness quite charming. Perkins can’t imagine anyone not being enamored with Dougie.
“I love spending time with my newest little man,” she says. “He is so full of love, it is impossible not to be smitten with him!”
She understands that the folks he left behind at the shelter will always be part of Dougie’s family. She and Dougie keep in close contact with them as she shares stories of Dougie’s newest adventures.
Everybody needs somebody. And when two of those somebodies meet, life is magic.
Source: The Dodo