My mom raised me to love kittens and cats. We always had cats around when I was growing up.
Mom loved Persians and Puff was a good cat until his old age when he got mean. Some people think it was years of hearing his name . . . Puff. When he was little, he did look like a powder puff.
Dad always seemed to not like cats and although he was never mean to them, he did get revenge (after Puff) by naming the cats.
Mom always wanted another Persian kitten and so in 1997 we picked out a cute little kitten from a breeder in Canton. We couldn’t take her home for two weeks until she was weaned and had her shots. Mom was concerned because she had been caring for dad for several years and his Alzheimer’s was getting worse. But this kitten was our birthday gift to each other, and I knew we could keep her away from dad if we needed to do so. But God had other plans. On Saturday dad went into the hospital and when he was to be released the hospital would not allow him to come home. He had deteriorated so much they found a nursing home for his care.
This meant that mom, who had spent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for several years constantly by dad’s side, was going to be alone. On Monday evening, Karrie and I brought home this little kitten. At first, Gramma and the kitten slept most of their days and nights away. Eventually, I’d get calls at work from mom, laughing, and saying, “Guess what the kitten did!” God provided this little kitten to fill mom’s days with company and joy. We named her Danke, German for Thank You, to remind us of God’s gift.
Danke likes to play Hide-and-Seek. You find her and chase her. She finds you and you chase her. Once, I hid behind a chair, waiting for her to come around it to ‘find’ me and was surprised when I felt her tap me on the head. She’d climbed over the chair, knowing I was back there! She weighs about five pounds and if you removed her hair, she’d probably weigh only three. (Right now, she’s snoring in the other room. She’s 14 years old, so I guess that’s acceptable now.) Danke only eats when she is hungry. She also prefers to drink out of the bathroom sink. Cold running water. Karrie started this habit when Danke was just a kitten.
She is slowing down a little these days. Occasionally I’m home to hear her exercise. The pitter patter of little Danke feet running from one end of the house to the other. Most days her schedule includes sleeping in the sun by the French doors, sleeping on the couch, sleeping on the bed, sleeping on the window seat. . .you get the idea. She occasionally makes us laugh with her sleeping spots.
She’s never been much of a mouser. She does sit and look at the mouse until I come out and scream. Then she runs, knowing she’s done her job.
She doesn’t particularly like other people, although she puts up with piano students for the most part.
Every night at 10:00 p.m. she looks at me as if to say, “It’s bedtime.” And most of the time, she sleeps right by my legs or feet until it is time to wake me up in the morning.
I’m still glad we named her Danke.