He was John Paul II's theologian/enforcer for years, but according to friends back in Germany, Benedict XVI has a softer side: he's a cat-lover:
"I went with him once," said Konrad Baumgartner, the head of the theology department at Regensburg University. "Afterwards, he went into the old cemetery behind the church.Mister Gato (who, long experience has taught us, is of the Chew-ish faith) heartily approves.
"It was full of cats, and when he went out, they all ran to him. They knew him and loved him. He stood there, petting some and talking to them, for quite a long time. He visited the cats whenever he visited the church. His love for cats is quite famous."
The story has a sad note, however. According to his old housekeeper, back in Germany:
"When we were on vacation, a cat, a little kitten, would come by, and he'd be giddy, almost giggling with joy," she said." Cats love him; they always go to him straight away. And he loves them back."That's so wrong, I don't even know where to start. He's the Pope, which has got to be at least as stressful as being a CEO or a head of state, and he's an old, old man. Let the man have a cat in the Vatican if he wants one.
He doesn't have a cat, however. [The housekeeper] doesn't think he can have one living in the Vatican.
"He was always content to play with the street cats," she said. "I don't know much about Rome, but I know there's no shortage of cats there."
If you're worried about the furnishings, install a scratching post!
I think it would set a great example if the Pope were to adopt a Roman rescue cat and give it a good home. Being the Pope's Cat would be a good gig.
("Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40.)