Diddeke & cuddly MinaDennis Steenbakkers
Diddeke found Mina in a shelter. She was actually going to look for another cat, but came home with this black and white fluffy ball. A cat with a backpack, because Mina is afraid of many things. Hands, for example.
Diddeke (44) lives with her 15-year-old daughter and cat Mina in a lovely maisonette in Anna Paulowna – a rural village in North Holland. She really liked the place, but also took into account that she has a pet cat. There had to be enough room for everyone, including Mina.
Mina comes from a shelter. Why did you choose that?
Any cat is worth taking into your home. I often hear that people choose a certain breed or a cat with a special colour. And a perfect character. But the cats from the shelter are the nicest. Also the black ones. Mina had to wait three and a half months for her golden basket because of her colour and fearful character. And luckily this is in my home – I enjoy Mina every day. Especially because she is not perfect and because she has a backpack.
A backpack, what do you mean?
Mina was found as a kitten stuck under the bonnet of a car. So she really was rescued. And because of that, she has more fears than other cats. She is very afraid of hands, for example. And basically of everything she doesn’t know. Also new people.
I still can’t lift Mina because she is so afraid of hands. But she is very cuddly.
Is she becoming less afraid as time goes on?
Yes, she is doing really well. She has been living with me for three and a half years now and every day I gain a little more confidence. I see her growing and blossoming. I can pet her now and she loves it. But she also lies on my lap and talks all the time. At moments like that, I am so glad that she is with me. And also very proud of her.
Also when I see that she is learning to trust other people. In the beginning, she was really scared, but once she has met someone more often and sees that they are trustworthy, she gives in. In fact, if she likes you, she wants your full attention. It is very nice that she trusts others, because then I can also go on holiday. I would never leave her with someone she does not know or with whom she does not feel at ease.
Can Mina go outside?
No, I don’t dare. Mina is afraid of everything that is new and unfamiliar. So I am sure she would be scared of a lot of things when she is outside. Cars, bikes, dogs. I think she finds it all far too exciting. And that’s why I’m afraid I’ll lose her. So Mina stays safe in the house. But she also enjoys herself there!
Tell us, what does a day of Mina look like?
Mina has a very nice life, haha. Every morning, she gets a sweet first, because she loves that. When I sit down on the couch, Mina immediately comes to me and sits down to ‘kick’. While I am drinking my coffee, she settles down on my lap until she gets her wet food. Then I play with her for 15 minutes and she sits at the window and looks outside. But that never lasts long, because she prefers to crawl into her scratching box – the Dome 110. Then she races through the whole house: up the stairs, into the scratching post and back again. Then we play again and she gets some more wet food. In between she often comes to cuddle and talk to me. Very cosy. And it goes like this all day long.
Has Mina ever been ill?
Fortunately, no. Although she has been sterilised, of course. And this operation has strengthened our bond very much. Because after the operation, I stayed with her for three whole days and nights – to take care of her and to reassure her. The second night, she curled up against me for the first time. She felt safe with me and that was such a good feeling! Since then, she has never left my side. I find it very valuable that she lets me in and that I have gained her trust.
You obviously love cats. Can you tell us why you like them so much?
I like a lot of things about cats. Everything, actually. Cats are cosy and sweet. But perhaps what I like best is that they are so stubborn. Cats just do their own thing.
Diddeke doesn’t just have one Petrebels scratching post, but two! She started with the Dome 110 scratching barrel. And because Mina was so happy with it, Diddeke decided to buy her another scratching post. This was the scratching post Charlotte 180. Mina is very happy with it, because she scratches it every day, plays in it and loves to sleep in it.