Zelda Mae, my beautiful, sleek, love bug of a cat, was once returned by a “forever family” for being too needy. Her neediness plays out every morning when she follows me around, howling for attention. Zelda walks on the kitchen counter, inserts her snout too close to my coffee mug, and generally gets underfoot, demanding my love. This initially annoyed me, but I’ve learned to respect her insistence on attention. How many of us discount our needs or give up when they aren’t met easily?
Zelda lets me know what she wants clearly and consistently. I’ve adapted instead of blaming her. Every day I take a few minutes away from my morning rush, scoop her up, and hold her on the couch. I stroke her head and tell her how much I love her. After just a few minutes of my focused affection, she hops off and leaves me alone to proceed with my day. Her needs are not excessive and are simple to meet with a small amount of flexibility on my part. Instead of considering her too needy, I now think of her as the most emotionally stable being in my home. She knows what she wants and how to get it. That makes her smart, not needy. I could learn a thing or two from her.