The little furry star of today’s post is Äffchen, the youngest member of our little household.
‘Äffchen’ is German for little monkey. Originally, I had planned to name her Audrey after the gorgeous and amazing Audrey Hepburn. Well, the name stuck for about two days before it became clear that my new little kitten wasn’t anything close to a graceful lady like that. So she was nameless for almost a full week until I started calling her ‘Äffchen’ which was originally meant to be a little nickname but then stuck with us. There really is no name that could be any more fitting for her. She looks like a little monkey with her brown fur and skinny, lanky body. And she acts like it, too.
I got her in 2011. After I had lived alone with Sally as my only cat, I figured she needed a companion for the long hours that I spend at work and otherwise away from home. Our first try had failed when I got Emily and she, too, ended up liking my mother a lot more than me and fighting with Sally a lot. That was in 2010 and it took me a year before I dared another try. Looking back, I’d say the second try was even more of a risk and I should have learned from my first mistake. A co-worker told me about a farmer / restaurant owner who had a cat that had recently given birth and who wanted to drown the remaining kitten if he didn’t find a home for it. So I drove there on the same night.
When I got there, he showed me this hyper little brown bundle that was jumping around outside the barn. She was entirely fearless and so friendly. It took me about five seconds to decide there was no way I was gonna leave her there. On the way home, I started having a few doubts. What if Sally didn’t like her? And indeed, the first day was hard for them. Äffchen is just generally very friendly and open. She sees you, she wants to play with you. But whenever she approached Sally, she’d hiss at her. Not in a really angry way and she didn’t hit her or bite but she just went around the place hissing. By now I’ve learned that it isn’t uncommon at all. Many cats react like that and for the most part, it’s best to just leave them be and deal with things in their own time. Which I did and after a day, they started accepting each other. I won’t lie, they still fight sometimes. Mostly playful fighting, but sometimes they get angry at each other, too, like most roomies. Most of it is probably down to Sally being five years older and a much calmer character. Äffchen just wants to play a lot and she’s very hyper. Sometimes Sally just watches her and endures it but on bad days, she’ll snap. As will I. It happens.
Äffchen really is the most peculiar little cat I know. It starts with her appearance. She’s a German Rex (or at least she looks like one) but very small, skinny and with a crazy little build. Really, imagine a monkey and you’ll know what I mean. Her fur is dark and light brown but in her face, she has ginger streaks that look like she’s prepared for war. It’s hard to see in pictures but when you see her in person, it’s obvious. And really, her behavior is not like any cat’s I know. Every other night, she’ll drop one of her toys in front of me so I’ll throw it for her to bring it back. Like a little puppy. Her rightful spot is next to me. And I mean right next to me. Not on the same couch but attached to my thigh.
I just love that little critter.