UNIque houses: Huize het Zaad

The most famous cat of Wageningen lives in this house.
Manfred the white house cat ‘looks sweeter than he is’ and doesn’t like being picked up. From left to right: Dirk, Calvin, Jori, Dana and Bente. Photo Guy Ackermans

House: Huize het Zaad
Residents: Calvin Damen, Dana Kelder, Dirk Willemsen, Bente Leus and Jori van den Hoogen
Unique because: the (possibly) most famous cat in Wageningen lives there

Dirk: ‘Huize van Zaad is above De Zaaier café. There are stairs running down to the café from our balcony, and then on to Unitas and the beer cellar. The café terrace doesn’t bother us. It’s just annoying that everyone smokes under my window in the winter.’

Calvin: ‘I quite like the buzz of conversation; it helps me fall asleep. It was really weird when it was so quiet during the lockdown.’

Dana: ‘At the side of the house you hear people talking as they leave. Lots of gossip – everything comes out once people have had a few drinks. After dates you hear people say, ‘So… are we going to continue at home?

Bente: ‘Manny, whose real name is actually Manfred, has been living here longer than any of us. We think he’s about 13, which is quite old for a pedigree cat.’

Calvin: ‘He always sits downstairs on the terrace. And he just wanders into shops. He’s often at the hairdresser’s or in the phone shop.’

Bente: ‘Sometimes people phone the animal rescue service because they think he’s lost.’

Calvin: ‘He was even taken home once by someone who thought he wasn’t been looked after. We were rather offended by that. We comb him every day, he gets special hypo-allergenic food, and everyone here in the house keeps an eye on him. He was away for a few days on that occasion, and we were very worried.’

Dana: ‘He is not as sweet as he looks, by the way. He often lies in front of the Hema looking cute, being like ‘stroke me!’ But he regularly lashes out at people.

Calvin: ‘During lockdown we started the Zaad Olympics. We created a minigolf course in the attic, and we had games like bowling with onions, peeling an egg with one hand, and egg-and-spoon races round the block.’

If you too want your UNIque house in Resource, send an email to resource@wur.nl

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