The guesthouse cat, Wäinö Hjalmar Göös, appeared from the forest on a rainy day in September 2001 to see what was going on here. First he explored the playhouse path and then lay down on the ground showing his belly as if to say “Take me home.”
The same ritual was repeated on many weekends. There was food waiting for him on the steps, he ate it and disappeared into the forest. However, on one stormy night Wäinö decided to come in. He stayed the night and slept next to me. In the morning, he peed on the floor and left.
The cold October nights brought him back for good. With the help of my friends we got him ready for neutering and the vet made a house call to perform the procedure. Snip snip – and the wild cat became a pet. We even gave him a proper christening with champagne. I named him Wäinö Hjalmar Göös.
At first many people were scared of Wäinö because of his size and certain animal determination. I was never scared of him. When I was a little girl, I wanted to have tiger and lion cubs. I never got them, but then my mother somewhere up there sent me Wäinö.
For over 16 years Wäinö was one of the best things in my life. As he got older he had problems with his legs and kidneys, but I adjusted his diet and gave him medication. Together we hobbled down the stairs, with him leading the way and making sure I was following as he was already outside.
My customers at Willa Göös all loved Wäinö. He was sociable and curious. He always wanted to know what was going on. He hunted mice, squirrels and baby hares. This is a stimulating environment for a cat. Of course he was a predator, but in my opinion, he was also a very sensitive and wise animal at times.