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Inky The Cat

Inky, 7, with her owner Glen Kruger.

Glen Kruger had an uncanny connection with the black and white kitten that was left on someone's doorstep. Knowing how much Kruger liked cats, he was asked to care for the little stray. "She was beat-up, bruised and bloodied and left in a box on the porch. The lady asked us to take the kitten to the SPCA for her. We did, but the next day we went back up and got her." He was just looking for a little lap time from the kitten and the normal feline aloofness; but what he got was so much more with the little black cat with the white bib and white paws that came to be known as Inky.

Kruger grew up on a hundred-acre dairy farm which also included many kittens and cats. He says that they were his playmates, so he became drawn more to felines as a family pet.

Inky, now 7, lived happily with her family, roaming outdoors during the daytime hours and indoors during the evenings. She was the typical tuxedo and shared her home with five other cats, but one evening, something would happen that would set her apart from the other cats.

One cold January evening, Kruger went down to the basement to turn off the wood stove for the night. He began to climb the stairs and reached to turn off the light and mistakenly knocked aside a board that propped up a broken spring-action ladder leading to the attic. The heavy contraption came crashing down on top of him, slamming against his right shoulder and sending him, headfirst, down the stairs. He says that he felt bones crack.

"I lay at the bottom of the basement stairs for many minutes unable to get up or crawl and yelled for help," remembers Kruger. "The open attic hatchway was dumping about five-degree air down on top of me and I was starting to go into shock. I happened to notice Inky staring at me at the top of the stairway with huge eyes. Something moved me to tell her to get Brenda, my wife."

The injured man was not sure if the cat understood what he had said. He explained that in the past, Inky had only responded to the simplest commands when food was offered. So when the cat dashed away, Kruger thought that he was a goner.

But it seems that Inky was on a mission. "Inky went to my wife's bedroom and jumped against the door and caterwauled (yowled) loud enough to wake her up. Then (she) brought her back to me," he said.

Kruger suffered a broken arm, lacerated head and a vertebrae fracture that left him with a permanent 4-inch curvature in his spine. "I spent six months recovering and, due to spinal compression and curvature, actually lost height," says Kruger. "But I was blessed." Since the accident, Inky never leaves Kruger's side.