NAPPANEE — Every morning, Ceci starts her day by making her rounds at Nappanee City Hall to greet everyone in the building and, of course, get her morning treats.
Then the little gray feline attends meetings, takes naps on window sills and lays across desks to get the attention of the city’s workers.
She’ll make her rounds for the last time on Monday, July 7, before she retires to Elder Haus Senior Center.
Ceci has lived full-time at Nappanee City Hall for 13½ years. Nikki Ramer works in the water and sewer utilities office and remembers when she arrived.
“It was a really bad winter,” Ramer said in a phone interview Thursday morning. “The police chief at the time, Mike Anglin, found her wandering in town.”
Anglin brought her to city hall to visit before taking her to the vet. He intended on taking her to the Humane Society of Elkhart County, but the staff at city hall fell in love with her and she never left.
Now she’s a well-known figure in the building. Visitors will come in and ask about her. Children like to find her when they visit.
And the city employees love having her around.
“Sometimes she’ll lay across everything when you’ve got stuff to do,” Ramer said. “But it’s nice because she calms and relaxes you when things are really stressful.”
When Ceci was younger, she was a very affectionate cat. Ramer recalls being pregnant with her first child and Ceci would curl up on her lap to cuddle, even when there wasn’t much room for her.
As she’s aged, Ceci has become more observant and a bit finicky. If one person comes up to her, she’s fine, but Ramer says groups of people, especially children, can overwhelm her.
Want to visit Ceci?
You can see her at Elder Haus Senior Center after Monday, July 7. Elder Haus is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located at 451 N. Main St.
“It’s time for her to move,” Ramer said. “The seniors will love having her. She’ll have more time for them and she’ll get attention when she wants it.”
But city hall staff will notice a difference. Ramer said everyone has been emotional that she’ll be moving to a new home.
"It’s been great having her here. We’re going to miss her,” Ramer said. “Hopefully she has some happiness in her new home.”