Tinus, Lola and their owner JeroenDennis Steenbakkers
Tell us: how, where and with whom do you live?
I live with my wonderful wife Sandra (45) and my two cats Tinus and Lola in a semi-bungalow on a green strip in Heemskerk. It’s like a vacation park. It took us three years to find this house, because we had a lot of requirements. For ourselves, but also for our cats. They are an important part of our ‘family’. The street had to be low on traffic and the surroundings green. Because there the cats can hunt and play safely.
Yes, that’s a bungalow with another half floor on top and an enclosed patio garden. Most of the house is ground level and the roof mostly flat. And that’s great for the cats to walk on and to safely peek at everything and everyone that walks by. A real cat’s paradise.
How old are the cats and where did you meet them?
We both adopted cats from a shelter in IJmuiden. My wife and I once volunteered there and decided on the spot that we would always adopt our cats from the shelter. Not from a litter or anything like that.
We saw Tinus (now 9 years old) first. And that was really love at first sight. He was 7 weeks old and still very small and a bit bald – a real little rascal. He didn’t get along very well in the kitten group and was therefore put aside. But he did not agree.
So when we entered the enclosure he started meowing very loudly and climbed into the bars of the cage.
‘One hug further we were sold’
Lola is also 9 and we met a few weeks later. She really played hard to get. She clearly showed that she was not interested in us. And we found that funny. She is a real ‘redhead’ in terms of build and character – super strong and very independent. Although in recent years she has begun to warm up to us more and more and shows that she secretly loves us.
What makes them so special?
Despite being so tough and strong, Lola is super cute to look at. She is quite small, wonderfully soft and has freckles on her nose and mouth. We also hug her very often. And Tinus is special on many different levels. He needs a lot of attention and is very focused on me and my wife – goes looking for us when we are too far away from him. Or he calls us. Super cozy so. And he is champion at giving headbutts!
But he also has a use case. First of all, he is very fearful in nature. He scares easily and doesn’t trust anyone, only us actually.
‘And he’s scared of the dishwasher, placemats and boiled whitefish (no joke).’
On top of that, he has been sick for a very long time and is still not completely well. Therefore he needs a lot of care and we can’t go on vacation for about three years now. But we are willing to do that for him!
What are the cats’ favorite spots?
Tinus lies everywhere we are. And in the evening he first lies in the luxurious Artifort fauteuil I inherited from my grandmother and then on my lap. And recently he sits on top of his new cat tree. And it is really different from all the others we had before, much more stable and stronger. Tinus can easily climb it and sit on it.
And Lola can be found wherever the sun shines, on the windowsill and outside when the weather is nice. In winter she lies on a rug on the heating and later with us on the couch. My wife always wraps her up in a blanket, just like a pita bread. She loves it!
And their toys?
Lola is most happy with a real mouse. But inside she also likes to play with toy mice. And Tinus loves the cat-rod with a feather on it, he really chases after it. Or a piece of paper, he loves that too!
The final question: why do you like cats so much?
I really like all cats. Young, old, fat, thin, breed or no breed. It doesn’t matter to me. Cats are just beautiful and honest animals with a quirky character. And often very sweet and funny too.
Jeroen was looking for a classic scratching post and bought the scratching post Savannah 86 cream. And he likes it very much, because the scratching post is 20 centimeters thick and the base is weighted. This allows the cats to climb and scratch to their heart’s content without it falling over.