A working cat for all reasons

November 29, 2019

Whether you call them working cats or barn cats, when adopters come to the Dumb Friends League looking for one, they have a specific role they’re hoping these feline employees will fill. Most people adopt a working cat to help them with things like pest control in a stable or barn, or to keep feral cats away from their properties. But not Mary, when she started looking for a working cat it was for an entirely different and, we think, quite sweet reason.

Mary, Norman and Roy

When Norman the donkey’s best friend, a horse named Brookie, passed away, Mary knew she needed to find a companion for him. Not sure if she wanted the expense and time required for another equine, Mary’s veterinarian suggested a barn cat may be just the company that Norman needed. The veterinarian’s office just so happened to have a cat named Roy who would fit the bill, so naturally, Mary took Roy home.

Norman and Roy became fast friends, but Mary quickly learned that her new barn cat lacked necessary “street smarts”, or maybe we should say “barn smarts”. She was hoping Roy would act a protector for her gentle, sweet donkey, but the cat wasn’t great about alerting to potential threats or predators.

Dumb Friends League Working Cat Program

Mary has been adopting pets from the Dumb Friends League for more than 20 years and had recently learned about the Working Cat program, so she contacted the League and worked with an adoptions counselor to find the perfect barn cat. She wanted a cat who would act as a protector and companion for both Norman and Roy.

Not long before Mary contacted the League, a young stray cat arrived along with her litter of kittens. Margie was friendly but quickly became overstimulated when pet and handled, swatting at hands while using her claws. Considering her behavior in the shelter and her history as a stray, the behavior team determined Margie was a good candidate for the Working Cat program.

Since she had the perfect mix of street smarts and a friendly personality, Margie was paired up with Mary.

Norman, Roy and Margie

Margie quickly settled into her new life as a barn cat. As a former mama cat, Margie’s motherly instincts kicked in for both Norman and Roy—always ready to protect them when predators are nearby and gently groom and care for them.

Mary says that Margie is friendly with people but hasn’t lost her wild side, “she’s almost like a guard dog for Norman and Roy!” According to Mary, she also has no interest in leaving the barn because she always wants to be near her two buddies.

So, as you can see, there are working cats for all reasons—even companionship! If you are in the market for a working cat, click here to learn more about the program. Working cat adoptions include spay/neuter surgery, microchip ID, age-appropriate vaccinations and rabies vaccinations. Adoption fees on barn cats are always waived.

If you’d like to follow the adventures of Norman, Roy, Margie and the rest of Mary’s adorable animal crew, be sure to check out @normanthedonkey on Instagram.