Heartfelt confession time. I have OCC – Overly Clingy Cat. Around 18-20 hours per day, OCC needs to be reassured he is safe, warm, and loved through nonstop petting, lap sitting, tummy rubbing, head scratching, arm napping, and snuggling. There is no end to this sometimes welcomed but often annoying neediness. It’s an obsession.
No matter what we do, he continues to obsess about being the passive-aggressive center of attention. Blocking him from jumping on your lap often results in him deviously nudging things off the coffee table, peeing besides the liter box not in it, tearing up and down the hall like a galloping maniac, cutting in front of you as you walk to the kitchen or bathroom which is a decidedly heinous tripping hazard, sitting and crying by the door when you go outside to mow the lawn, falling down at your feet and rolling over to be petted the second you enter the house, and don’t even think about taking your coat or shoes off before the petting. Each trip to the car to bring in groceries, he sticks his nose out of the door mostly just to be in the way so you have to tiptoe around him to get in and out of the house, and although it’s not his fault he sheds like a Swiffer commercial, and on and on and on.
My husband gets much of the white-hot ‘pay attention to me’ insanity. He’s less mobile and therefore a sitting human to OCC insisting on sitting his way and his way only. He doesn’t normally get away with that nonsense with me, but that doesn’t keep him from trying over and over again. I’ve had dozens of cats over my lifetime, but never one like this. Is he sweet? Absolutely. Beautiful? Gorgeous. Friendly? Likes everybody. Crazy as all get out? Yeeeppppp.
He came to be ours after having been abandoned as a kitten by his mother either through choice or death, we don’t know which. I originally discovered him sleeping smack dab in the middle of the rose bushes. He was obviously using the thorny environment for protection. I was immediately struck by how smart and cunning he appeared. He had a keen sense of survival. I normally have a way with cats. As a matter of fact my family and friends call me The Cat Whisperer. I called to him and he instantly trusted me. He began following me around the garden, came back to visit a few times, and we just hung out. He was sooooo skinny, and he cried incessantly. We eventually decided to take him in and get him the medical help he so desperately needed. He had fleas, mites, worms, horrific digestive problems, drainage in his eyes, an ear infection, was under weight — you know, a complete mess. OCC would have surely died going into the Illinois winter without care. It took over a year to get his health on track and a couple of years to fix his ear. He still eats special food and always will.
He’s a cuddly chubber bubber now in his comfortable middle-aged years. We love him, but as with all living creatures, an early lack of love and affection from a parent leaves a hole that seemingly never fills. Adopt a needy pet and save a life. It will may annoy the heck out of you, but the lasting rewards are unmeasurable. The life saved will probably be your own… Sandy