A Free Black Cat - Evil or Not - Make Good Mousers.

Felix our house cat!  Besides his incredibly good looks, he was an excellent mouser.

Actor playing Felix as a child

Felix my old friend. A black cat. Not the type of cat for people who hold onto long engrained superstitions. 

I remember the day I brought him home... an unwanted kitten that someone begged me to take, or he was going to take to the SPCA. This was before the shelters had a "No Kill Policy." He said he could no longer handle the little guy, he only had him one week. Nothing like being put on the spot, I took him home. I thought nothing of his colour, I mean him being black. I'm not superstitious nor prejudice.  

He climbed into a bag on the floor and popped his head out, much like the kitty in the picture above. That was twenty-five to thirty years ago, a long time. 

Felix is no more, having run out of his nine lives. 

There is much wisdom in the age old adage, 

"Never pay for a cat, because if you do, it will never be able to catch a mouse." 

You've never heard of it, an old superstition. 
Felix was a good mouser besides being so damned friendly. 

I wonder—as I remember him, all sprawled out on the garden bench, his paws up in the air, leaving no room for anyone to sit—which life was he living, just then, at that moment. His first, third or fifth? His ninth, his last? 

Throughout his life, he had numerous scrapes with death. Once, almost being eaten by a rouge coyote. How many times, that he almost got killed, inches from being crushed under the wheels of passing cars. I even remember a time he got knocked-off the top of a high voltage hydro pole by a sympathetic fireman when he wouldn't come down. He stayed up there for two days, I became frantic and dialled 911!  

He probably lived more than nine lives, some I probably don't even know about, disappearing for days on end, returning only to say hello, getting some chow and a few pats then disappearing again, for another few days, only to return again with more scrapes and missing clumps of hair, losing the tip of his tail and the end of his left ear one night, scrapping with the neighbourhood cats! 

He fought with them all, and appeared to be the champion, especially the way he strutted as he entered the kitchen, as I caught him coming home early in the morning, before sun rise. He didn't see me sitting there, at the kitchen table waiting for him to come home. I was up all night worrying about the guy. 

I used him to tell the weather forecast; if he sneezed it was a sure sign it was going to rain and sure enough, without fail he'd sneeze and it would rain within hours afterwards. It was a lucky sign, but only if he sneezed once. I would count them. If he sneezed three times in a row, I was sure to get a cold, and I did! I really think I caught it from him but I would have never told him so.

I had a fireplace back then, I'd get the room all warm and cozy, then we'd watch the "Pirates of the Carribean on VHS. I'd keep one eye on Felix. If he sat with his back to the fire, I knew a storm was approaching. If he licked his tail or rubbed his paws over his eyes, I knew the storm would last the whole night. The same when he rubbed the legs of the kitchen table. I knew the weather was about to change, usually for the worst.

On one occasion, he pawed at the air frantically, I thought he was freaking out or having an epileptic fit but sure enough, a wind gale happened shortly after, knocking down tons of big branches in the backyard. A dangerous scenario when one fairly large branch, landed—cam-boom!—across Felix's corner of the bench, breaking it in half. I would have hated to see what would have happened to him, that being his favourite perch and all, his spot to survey the backyard for the occasional mole, digging through the grass, or spotting an unsuspecting worm that had crawled out of its hole. 

No wonder the ancient Egyptians adore their cats and treated them like God's. To them the males represented the sun and the females, the moon. I was sure I'd lose Felix every time there was a full moon. The females—no one spaded a cat, back then—would howl during the night when in coming into heat, which seemed to happen every full moon and gave the cue for Felix that it was time to go on the prowl again.

He disappeared one night and never returned. I've heard rumours that he was spotted, months later with another black cat but I never did see him again.

Now, I have to rely on the gout to determine the weather. I miss Felix. He was a good mouser, besides being a good personal barometer. 

Everyone should have one.

Dog Brindle

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