Sunday, September 27, 2009

Felix the Cat

Felix the cat,

the wonderful wonderful cat,

You’ll laugh so much

Your sides will break,

Your heart will go pit-a-pat!

Watching Felix, the wonderful cat.

How many of remember that song for the cartoon show of the 50s? I knew a wonderful cat named Felix.

A pet sitting client of mine recently lost her elderly cat, Felix, due to old age. I have been caring for Felix for over 10 years; he was the patriarch of a five-cat household. As he aged he had a private suite in the master bedroom where the young cats wouldn’t pick on him. I usually found him in his heated cat bed or he would meet me at the bedroom door, ready to dart out if the opportunity presented itself. We always spent some private time purring and petting.

I remember one time recently I lost my key, and when I called, Carolyn, his owner, was so relieved that I’d “only” lost the key and nothing was wrong with Felix. She was positively joyful.

After Felix died, I asked Carolyn, about his story. He’d been a part of her life longer than most of her family:

Yes, I had Felix prior to my kids. I found him September 13, 1990. I was sitting in my office in Sorrento Valley and looked out the window and he was in the parking lot. I went out to the parking lot and grabbed him. As I was holding him, my future husband (though we were just coworkers then) walked by and I asked him if he wanted him. He said no, but I always figured he married me because he regretted not taking Felix. So I took Felix home, named him an appropriate name for a black and white cat, though I had no intention of keeping him. He checked out fine at the vet, and got along with my other 3 cats so I kept him and had him neutered. His age was estimated to be 1 1/2 years old.

There is more to the story; my boyfriend was very ill at that time, and later someone told me Felix means comforter and it was fate that he crossed my path. I was told that that morning in Sept when I found him, I was hanging on to Felix for dear life, so I think I needed him more than he needed me. The next few months were very difficult and I spent most of my time at the hospital. My boyfriend died Jan 1 1991. I think Felix helped me get through that time in my life.

Kent and I married in 1993 and Kelly was born in 1995 and Craig in 1996. Felix never backed down from the kids, if there was a tussle over a toy between him and them; Felix always won. I have lots of pictures with him sleeping with the kids, the kids reading to him, and of course dressing him up in costume... Really a great cat.

One special thing about Felix is he loved a crowd and to greet folks at the front door. He was always the center of attention in the house no matter how many people were over. He also had a knack of being able to open the door if it was left ajar...

Even with a houseful of much-loved kitties, I am sure Felix is missed. I was fortunate to have the privilege of painting Felix’s portrait a few years ago. I still think it is one of the best I’ve ever done. Maybe it is because I knew my subject so well.

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