Skip to main content

Hugging cat befriends dog missing both front legs in Victoria


Katie Thorne will never forget the day she visited the animal shelter and met Otis for the first time.

“I took [the cat] out of the cage, and he just wrapped his little arms around me and just started purring,” Katie recalls, before laughing. “And my husband just looked at us and said, ‘He’s coming home with us, isn’t he?’”

Katie’s husband was right; they adopted Otis. And the orange cat has been hugging his humans at home ever since, especially when Katie arrives from work after a really rough day.

“My husband won’t even be the first person to hug me,” Katie laughs. “He’ll just bring me Otis!”

Katie will also never forget when she travelled to India and volunteered daily at an animal shelter. She met a feral dog who’d had her front legs ripped off in an accident. After they were both amputated, she looked more like a kangaroo than a canine. Her name was Mama Roo.

“I was incredibly inspired by Mama Roo and her amazing resilience,” Katie says, sharing video of the dog at the shelter, struggling to hop around on her back legs, but never giving up.

“She’s just unfazed by all the challenges in her life.”

When Katie returned to Canada, no doubt greeted by a hug from Otis, she couldn’t stop thinking about that dog’s indomitable spirit. So she returned to India two years later, and found that Mama Roo seemed to have remembered her too.

“Her tail was wagging,” Katie beams, sharing video of Mama Roo hopping across the enclosure to reunite with her.

“She was so excited to see me.”

Katie felt compelled to adopt Mama Roo, but was concerned about how she would be with Otis.

“Because the street dogs in will often attack the cats in India,” Katie says.

If Mama Roo was looking to fight a feline when she finally arrived in Canada, she didn’t stand a chance.

Otis was prepared. He immediately put out his paws to hug and pulverized the pup with purrs.

“[Otis] just took to her right away and wanted to be friends,” Katie says. “[Mama Roo] was very intrigued by him.”

Having endured so much trauma, Mama Roo was wary. But Otis was Otis.

“Nothing upsets him,” Katie says. “So [Mama Roo] can look to him when she’s feeling anxious and he’s just really steady.”

Katie shares countless photos and video of Otis embracing Mama Roo (many of which she’s posted on her Mama Roo Instagram page), and says the cat’s consistent and calm caring seems to have helped with the dog’s healing.

“Otis approaches every situation with a big open heart,” Katie smiles. “And goes into every situation expecting the best.”

Which has resulted in Mama Roo and Otis becoming the best of friends.

“They share a bed, snuggle, and he licks her. Otis keeps her company all day,” Katie smiles. “They’re totally in love. It’s the sweetest.”

It’s what can happen when a caring human connects a dog who no longer can hug with a cat who just can’t stop. Top Stories

Stay Connected