January 22, 2013 § 7 Comments
Although he had been seriously ill for several months, his recent passing was sudden – or at least that’s how it seemed to me. “Death is so damn cruel,” I thought as I watched him take his last gasp of air. It was that last gasp of air that he struggled to take – probably wanting to fill his chest with pride or bravery. Our eyes met briefly – mine were full of tears, as I saw him close his eyes for the last time. I asked the doctor if I could sit with him for a few minutes – I don’t know why, but I didn’t want my dear friend to think that I was in a hurry to go somewhere.
His name was Felix. He didn’t have any family and only a few friends when we first met in the late ‘90’s. It was at the end of my driveway – I had been painting the fence when I first noticed him –he stopped walking and our eyes met. I waved and said “Hello.” He obviously wasn’t from the neighborhood but he seemed to be a nice enough guy.
He didn’t say much at first, so I did most of the talking. It soon became obvious that he was down on his luck – I could hear his stomach growling –he probably hadn’t eaten that day. I had almost finished painting the fence and was getting hungry myself, so I asked him if he would like to join me for some lunch. His eyes seemed to light up at the mention of food.
I rustled up some food in the kitchen and then sat with him in the family room. He smiled at me as I handed him his plate. He stared at the food for a few seconds and then looked at me. He waited until I started to eat before touching his own food – he had obviously been taught proper table manners in his youth.
I asked him several questions: what’s your name, where are you from, how old are you and where do you live? He just stared at me and shrugged his shoulders. I continued talking to him and noticed that he was struggling to keep his eyes open. “Poor chap – obviously exhausted”, I thought to myself.
I quietly got a blanket and pillow and was just about to cover him up when he suddenly jumped up and screamed!
“It’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you” I said, trying to calm him.
I started to pet him and noticed that his tail was broken. This cat had obviously been mistreated. I stood back and looked him over. He had long black fur and beautiful green eyes. I decided to name him Felix – after the cartoon character –Felix the Cat.
That was about 14 years ago. He was a great pet and a great friend.
And now he was gone. I stroked him a few more times and then kissed him one last time…. and told him I loved him. But I didn’t say goodbye –that’s just too hard to say to someone you love.