Felix takes a holiday

One day last week our cat Davie started acting strangely. He wouldn’t budge from the doorway into the front room. The moment I picked him up and put him on the sofa in the other downstairs room, he had jumped down and was back to the doorway of the first room.

He looked as if he was keeping guard, so I told him “Look, there aren’t any mice in the front room and ,what’s more, you know no strange cats can get past your special cat flap”.

He refused to move out of the way, so I looked into the room more closely and found I was wrong.

There, stretched out asleep on one of our chairs was a gorgeous marmalade coloured cat.
As I got closer, he woke up and raised his head as if to say “Can’t you see I’m trying to have a nap?”

“How did HE get in? You haven’t left the back door open again have you?” My wife sounded annoyed, so I pretended I hadn’t heard her and talked straight to Davie, lying on the floor nearby.

“It’s O.K. Davie, he‘s not going to attack you. Let's see if he has a tag on his collar”.

Sure enough, he had. He allowed me to pick him up and gently examine his collar tag. On the front it gave his name, ”FELIX”, and the back a telephone number. Also, his collar was fixed with a special magnet, just like the one our Davie wears. This explained how he had got into the house without anyone knowing. It had unlocked our cat flap and let him enter.

“Let’s telephone his number and see if they’ve lost a cat.” Suggested my wife. “That’s a good idea, I’ll do it straight after breakfast. I‘m hungry and Felix looks rather comfy,” I replied lazily..

So, there I was, breakfast dishes soaking in the sink, phoning the number on his tag. There was no answer, even though I let it ring a long time. “I‘ll try again later. I wonder if he would like some breakfast as well? Davie’s had his biscuits already, so perhaps he would like some, too.” I said.

But no, Felix examined the biscuits, but didn’t even lick one.

“Oh, oh, it looks as if we have a choosy cat.” I said to my wife “ I’ll boil him up some frozen coley, Davie’s favourite. If he doesn’t eat that, then we really do have a problem.”
Sure enough, he didn’t seem very enthusiastic about that either, so we left him alone for a while in the hope he would go home. I even carried him out of the back garden and put him down near some undergrowth the local cats love to explore, in the hope that he would find the chance irresistible. He did. The moment he paws touched the ground, he was off at a run to our back door. Once again the cat flap let him in. “He doesn’t seem to want to go. I’ll ring his number again tomorrow morning” I said. “As he’s beautifully clean, he can sleep in the back bedroom with me, if he wants to.”

“OK, you look after him for the night” groaned my wife, ”it’s your problem”.

And that’s just what he did. He was tidy and quiet and spent most of the night asleep, snuggled in a couple of old pillows on the old chest at the foot of the bed. You would hardly have known he was there!

The following day I tried his number several time, but no answer. Then my wife had a bright idea, “If he’s local, perhaps he’s registered with the local ‘vet. Let’s phone them and see,” she suggested

Sure enough, they recognised him and said he lived in the neighbourhood. “His folks must be away on holiday,” they said, but we’re sorry we can’t give you the address, it’s against the rules”.

“I’m sorry too” I said “could you tell them that their cat is here and needs to be collected? Meanwhile, we’ll carry on looking after him.”

At teatime we got a phone call. It was a young man, who said the cat was his. He had been away on holiday for a couple of days with his parents. They were coming back late that evening, but he had come back early to make sure his cat was all right.”.

When he came round, we showed him the cat, still sleeping. “Yes, that’s Felix,” he said. “He‘s got our telephone number on the other side of his tag..”

“Which is?” I asked, checking his story.

He was right, which proved he had some claim on the cat.

“How are you going to take him home?” my wife asked, as the young man had come visiting on his bicycle, without a box to carry the cat back. Felix had just jumped down from his arms and had gone back to the pillows. “You can‘t carry him more than a few yards, without him escaping again. We’d lend you ours, but it’s a bit heavy. Next door has a lighter one. If we ask, they might lend it to you.”

And they did, and Felix got home that night.

Not without a few last wriggles, though - he didn’t really want to go home. He wanted some more holiday. I don’t blame him. Back in his house, I was told he had to sleep in an outside shed. With me, he had a very comfy bedroom in which to sleep, but I had to get the right food for him to eat!

One thing, the young man’s parents also turned out to be very fond of Felix. We discovered a basket of flowers o our doorstep the following day, with a note saying “Thank you for looking after me while my parents were away in Spain!” signed FELIX, (and what looked like a paw print).

I wonder if Felix will visit us again next year?

The End

© By John Cheyne Click here to visit John's Page