It’s okay to demand the love you need, a lesson my cat taught us

This week Ferris Mewler has been weirdly needy.  He pushes the dog off my lap and growls at anyone in the way and if I’m not touching him he meows, forcefully, which is pretty out of character for him.

I shared this on instagram:

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Ferris Mewler demanding love. Loudly.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

And a friend pointed out how lovely it would be if we all felt like we could ask for the love that we need whenever we needed it and maybe I have PMS but I was like, “AND A CAT SHALL LEAD THEM. WE SHOULD ALL BE FERRIS MEWLER” so right now I’m sitting at my computer with Ferris in my lap and in a minute I’m going to ask my husband for a hug and tell my kid to come snuggle with me even though she things she’s too teenagery and then I’m going to send electronic hugs to friends and then I’m going to send giant internet love to you. Yes, you. Can you feel it? I hope you can.

Now go ask for the love that you deserve. And give the love you want to see in return. Or pet some animals if people exhaust you. It’s all good.

Ferris Mewler and I love you.

124 thoughts on “It’s okay to demand the love you need, a lesson my cat taught us

Read comments below or add one.

  1. And lots of love, hugs, pats and treats back to you and yours. 🙂

  2. Love you too, Jenny & Ferris. Thank you for your excellent timing.

  3. Thank you!! Yes, we should demand the love and hugs we deserve!! ❤️️❤️️

  4. Well I’m going to just start jumping into people’s laps and growling at anyone who tries to intervene. Best case scenario I get a little and affection. Worst case scenario I get a much needed vacation from real life…in jail.

  5. Maybe they’re trying to tell us something…one of my cats has also been weirdly demading today. So much so that one of the others came downstairs to see what was going on. #allyouneedisloveandcats

  6. Hugs, Jenny, you deserve so much love. In my life, I don’t get really great results when I ask for love. So time for another cat. 😕

  7. That is fabulous – but you might make sure he is okay…… I know I know – worry wart – but sudden changes in behavior especially for attention might mean he has a bladder infection. (been there – done that – actually I have a UTI – I need more love too)

  8. I always ask my husband and kids for snuggles and love and luckily, they’re pretty agreeable. I just throw myself into bed with the cats and dogs. No shame!

  9. Hugs and hugs and a sniff of disdain from the weird little poodle. She’s mad cause she got groomed, she’s furious that she has to take medication three times a day. I let her have all the snuggles she wants/insists upon, because she’s 14, the medication is for seizures most likely caused by a brain tumor in her tiny brain, and we don’t know how long we’ll get with her. Until then, she gets all the loves she wants.

  10. my cats are like that when I travel or am gone all day. Even my flights dont get me home until after midnight, I know that I need to allow Charley & Lucy time. They MUST sit on me and lucy demands petting

  11. Sending electronic hugs, back! My 10 year-old niece is spending a few days with us, so I’m taking all the hugs I can get from her. 🙂

  12. Hugs to you, Jenny.

    I broke my toe and got 6 stitches in it today. And the lidocaine just wore off. Hugs would be wonderful, but I live alone, and my dog is sleeping and totally unconcerned. 😂

  13. My boss brings his dog to work everyday. Neptune (dog) gets me through each and every day. He is always willing to give me support, acceptance .love……

  14. Like Oprah, only better: You get some love, and YOU get some love, and YOU ALL get some love!

  15. I needed this. In the last two months, my husband has lost his job, had invasive gallbladder surgery, had a heart attack, had open heart surgery, and then lost his unemployment benefits. It’s been shitastic. Definitely needing some love over here, and I’m sending some right back to you.

  16. Excellent advice….since my 2 feline companions of 17 years passed last fall, I am going to bring 2 new little friends from a feral mother home to be my BFFs on Monday. May the force be with us and grant us long lives to share.

  17. Jenny, if Ferris keeps this up for too long, like more than one day, maybe you should take him to the vet to make sure he is all right. If he is just super loving, then you will know how he is just awesome!

  18. Ferris knows you are upset, and he’s doing his best to comfort you by sticking close.

  19. Both my boys and my parents cat have more needy over the last few weeks. Ferris has the cutest little meow.

  20. Much needed today… thank you. I was rear-ended on the way to work and texted my boyfriend for emotional support. Thankfully, I am not hurt physically but aching for love emotionally. Almost 10 hours later, he’s yet to ask how I’m doing or check on me. My depression is lying to me today but I’m determined to push through. Sending all my good and happy thoughts who are working through their own struggles.

  21. Thanks for the love, Jenny!! I do feel it!! And I need it badly right now! I guess I need to start meowing at people? Is that how this works?

  22. Sending love right back your way. I think love would look like Reese’s peanut butter cups for me today, though. Also it’d be nice if my workplace emailed to check in on me, seeing as I’ve been away for 2 weeks due to a haemorrhaging ovarian cyst, a kidney infection, and seriously bad reactions to the meds I was given to treat the above… But anyway, love and purrs for you and the fur faces. 🙂

  23. c’mere and give me a hug bitch! (that’s what I’d probably say)

  24. Right back at’cha – gonna go pet my kid and hug my cat now. 🙂 <3

  25. My cat Dorie makes no bones about when she wants affection – and it’s ALWAYS on her terms. I use my laptop in my recliner and she tries to nose her way under the laptop desk I use to lay on my lap – her preferred place to be. When I refuse, she grudgingly lays on the arm of my recliner, to make typing as difficult as possible, and hoping I’ll give up and switch over to the iPad. That always gives her lap space. Purrsistance be thy middle name!!! She’s not noisy like Ferris Mewler…just nosey!!

  26. My dog was sitting here and had just started staring at me and grunting, so after I read this, I gave her lots of love and petting and high-pitched voice things. Then I told her some of it was from a cat, and now she’s kind of messed up because this is challenging her worldview. But it’s love anyway, isn’t it?

  27. Feel it! Sending hugs to all and snuggles from the cats (whose arms are not long enough for hugs)

  28. Thank you for the love. I usually only accept it from my cats and dogs.

  29. Hugs right back to you and FM. I even have my cat-hair-resistant pants on. <3

  30. I feel the love, Jenny, but you’ve also created a community that is very loving 24/7 even when some of us are ducking and covering because we’re introverts. Thank you for everything and allow us to send that love right back to you.

  31. He knows how worried and stressed you have been lately. And a huge relief to have your claim approved. He needs confirmation thay you are ok. And he knows by demanding some love, he also gets to comfort you. Clever little munchkin!

  32. ALL of the love to you, Jenny. I needed this reminder, and it turns out I got what I asked for when I was finally ready to ask for it. Thank you for being you.

  33. My mum and I always say “Tell me!” and in response we must always say “I love you”. I’ve always been of fan of demanding my love and affection.

  34. I’m all for asking for and hopefully getting the love we need That said, please get Ferris checked out since cats don’t show that they’re sick until they reach the level of pretty bad. I kmow how much you love him – I know how much we love him so just saying.

  35. We once got a cat from the shelter and they claimed she was shy and gentle. She sure wasn’t shy or gentle when it came to asking for loving and affection.

  36. Hey as a retired Licensed Veterinary Technician I feel it is important to mention that sometimes sudden changes in behavior can be an indication of issues. I saw one said bladder infection. Though that of course could be a possibility, there are many other, often very simple reasons, of course not always medical. One I have seen, for example, that causes definite personality changes is hyperthyroidism which is pretty common in kitties. I don’t want to worry you, but if he continues, ask yourself if their has been a possible environmental change that he could be reacting to and if not or if it still continue maybe consider getting him checked. You of course know your guy best. Best wishes.

  37. I wish we could have pets. My daughter would die from allergies if we got a cat, and my landlord says absolutely no dogs unless we pay another security deposit.

  38. I appreciate comment #64 from Amy. Our cat was diagnosed with UTI last week and apparently there were other issues going on. Cats are good at hiding symptoms. Unfortunately, we hugged her for the last time 3 days ago. She was sweet, inquisitive, shy, charming, gentle … and now there is a empty hole. It happened so suddenly. Please, hug your loved ones (furry or otherwise), and send one my way, too, because my arms are feeling kind of empty.

  39. Volunteered at the shelter today and got muchas smooches from the pooches! Life is good.

  40. Both of my dogs will paw at me for attention. And when I get annoyed, I try my best to remember that they do this to me. Not just anyone. Me. Because theu trust me to take care of them. And that trust is love.

  41. Thank you. I’ve had a rough week at work, broke down, and had a fight with my husband about him not meeting my emotional support needs right now. I needed to see this today.

  42. This is always hard to remember and even harder to do sometimes. Thank you for the reminder ❤

  43. My cat paws at me if I’m lying in bed and she wants attention. She also understands that if I’m working on the computer, she can just lie down on the keyboard to get me to focus on her.

  44. Hallelujah Ferris Meweler. Animals are the best. People exhaust me too!

  45. Siberian squirrels. Google them. They are like a hug for the eyes. Quokkas also good.

  46. “Ask for the love that you deserve” is right up there with “Pretend you’re good at it” in the list of potential tattoos.

  47. I never thought about it, but I do this a lot. I just go steal a hug from my husband if I need one. And he usually complies.
    Hugs to you! (Could you feel the love last Saturday? A new friend and I discovered we both read your stuff and love you. You were getting warm fuzzies all the way from Vietnam!)

  48. Hi ~ I’ve never posted before, but I just wanted to drop a line to say I love your videos because your voice is so melodic and soothing. It’s nice to put a voice to the words – more humanizing? This is getting weird, I’m leaving now 🙂 thank you ❤️

  49. You might run Ferris to the vet to make sure he doesn’t have an ear infection or a bad tooth. Sometimes they want more attention because they have an owie. Otherwise, snuggle on!

  50. Huuuugs! I’m not too good at asking for help/attention/etc at work or in social situations, but the exceptions are my mom and my dog. I’ve always been very close with my mom and usually feel comfortable asking her for hugs when I’ve had a bad day, and I insist on cuddling with my dog at least once every evening. Thankfully he is a very calm/lazy dog and just lays there while I hug him.

  51. I’m kind of convinced that cats are there to show us how to live our lives. Nap when needed. Avoid people when you’ve had too much of them. Be around them when you feel like it. If you want attention/affection/food/needs/etc, make it known and make it known loudly. There is no such thing as an acceptable time to ask for things. Do it when you need it. And sometimes things just need to be broken or knocked off the counter to entertain us. Sometimes the imaginary things in life are the most entertaining. Its okay to run around like crazy and not really care sometimes. There are times where passive aggressive anger (like puking in shoes) is acceptable and overtly aggressive anger (attacking) are perfectly acceptable.

  52. I think he senses the pressure and stress you are under and demands that you let him fix you by taking care of and paying attention to him. Hope he chills out and things in your house calm down.

  53. Ferris and Hunter both have a pretty assertive game against Dorothy, but and I mean this, what about Rolly. Too polite and always edged out. #teamrolly

  54. But also maybe have FM checked by a vet. If he’s behaving in an unusual pattern there could be a medical reason. Hug, but verify!

  55. I have a history (and as a result, a reputation) of not being a hugger. I have made major changes in that area as I have gotten older (because hugs are amazing), but I still sometimes worry that I am lacking some sort of ability to read non-verbal cues that people give off when they are willing to accept a hug, so I am still hug-deprived. I know a couple of people who would never turn down a hug, which is good, but I still probably overthink it (because, hello, social anxiety).


  56. If only it were that easy, Jenny. I do ask, have asked. Several times. I get nothing. I need physical touch. I crave it.

  57. Coincidentally, I just stumbled across the website and I thought- what a marvelous idea! It’s actually for earth moving equipment rental, but someone should steal it and start a place where anyone who needs some extra love can rent a few cats as needed. Hugs and extra love to everyone today!

  58. Thank you, oh thank you for the hug and the love. I’m all alone here, and my therapist cancelled yesterday without letting me know. I really needed this.

  59. One of my cats is frequently needy but I sometimes she senses something wrong with me. Then she’ll say “You need to stop and love a cat.”

  60. Good for Ferris Mewler speaking to you and telling you that cats need love and petting! (Hope that he wasn’t trying to alert you to anything else that might be wrong that would require the assistance of a v-e-t!)

  61. Sometimes animals can teach us so much. I’m going to go hug my big, hairy teenager. We need love when we need love!

  62. My cat will head butt my head with her head to give her love while I’m asleep. Because it’s very selfish of me to be sleeping and not loving her. I’ll have to fix this unacceptable behaviour. Hugs to you all too<3

  63. I hope Ferris is ok. Maybe he’s asking for extra attention because he’s not feeling well.

  64. I would wonder if the cat is feeling okay. Maybe a trip to the vet, to be sure? I agree with Kiso, sometimes a suddenly fussy cat is apt to be feeling less that up to par. Or paw.

  65. We all need love so here is an electronic hug to Ferris and Jenny. However when my cat became needy and out of character it turned out he had a toothache. $900 later he is happy. Now my second cat is in need of a dentist. SIGH

  66. First of all, I have three needy, demanding balls of fur who demand love at all hours of the day and night! I’m exhausted! I’ve tried to explain that they should give each other attention but that’s not going to happen and it opened up a whole other big deal. Sigh. So, yeah, it’s okay to demand love — let’s just not get too carried away. Also, we should balance out demanding love with demanding money! In my house, anyway!

  67. Visiting with frinds today and borrowing their dog so I can participate.

  68. All the important things in life I have learned from my dogs. They always let me know if they need hugs and loving. The best thing is that they ALWAYS love you (maybe because I give them food) and whether you’ve been gone 5 days or 5 minutes, they greet you like you’ve been gone forever. Sending you air kisses and multiple tail wags from me and my 5-dog pack!

  69. Amazingly, as I read this, I felt someone bump my leg – Little Bit is asking for love. The cats shall lead them, indeed.

  70. My cat has also been very demanding! You are so right! It’s a message from the secret cat society! And a good one at that! Hugs and kisses to you and yours Jenny!

  71. The opposite is also true. I feel secure enough to tell my loving husband when to leave me alone because I’m too aggravated to be good company. I am a lucky girl.

  72. cannot express how much i needed to hear that from someone. must. not. cry. at. work…..

  73. Hey Jenny, I agree with those advising you to take Ferris to the vet for a thorough check-up just in case. Not many folks know that when cats suddenly are needy for attention/love, it’s their way of letting you know they’re in pain or something’s not right. (They naturally go to a person who makes them feel happy and/or content cuz they’re not feeling well.)

  74. And people say cats aren’t as smart as dogs…my three cats all have such individual personalities and ways of asking for love. I’m actually reading Furiously Happy again for around the 20th time. I just got to my favorite part where you talk about what drives us may not be what others tell us will make us happy. And what a perfect way to integrate asking for the love we want/deserve! I identify with you so much: I have an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, severe anxiety and depression issues. Plus a smorgasbord of other health problems. It is just really amazing to know I’m not alone. Here is to hiding from the mailman, Doctor Who days and all the spoons we can get! Xoxo thank you for being YOU

  75. Maybe Ferris Mewler sensed with his kitty senses that your brain was about to be a dick to you, and he decided he needed to stay close. Preemptive pet therapy. Psychic pet therapy. Good boy!

  76. Teens are never too old to snuggle or have hugs. Mine aren’t allowed to leave the house for school each day without a hug to give them their dose of oxytocin for the day. It works. Even the 18 year old still wants them.

  77. Thank you for your internet love. I’m having a shit day and I needed it.

    Is there any way to delete the comment with my last name? The fog of depression has made me ignore auto-complete.

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