Wandering the streets of Trenton, New Jersey, a male tiger cat discovered an apartment complex where two ladies came out every evening with cat food. He joined the group of cats that came every evening for a meal, and soon he made friends with the two ladies, Laura Ford (Clare's aunt) and Ethel Goldman. Ethel decided to adopt Felix; she brought him in to her apartment, where he became her constant companion. Felix received royal treatment: he ate at the kitchen table and slept in Ethel's bed. Ethel loved Felix and talked about him frequently. She signed his name on every card and letter she sent. In January, 1999, Ethel broke her hip and spent several weeks away from home while she recovered. A neighbor, Mr. Martin, fed Felix every day, and the veterinarian, Dr. Sharon Johnson, kept Felix for part of the time. Finally, Ethel came home, and she and Felix were reunited. Ethel started getting Meals on Wheels, which she shared with Felix. Felix loved food so much that he started waiting at the door when he knew it was time for the man from Meals on Wheels to arrive.
On April 27, 2000, Ethel felt very ill and asked a friend to drive her to her doctor's office. As they neared the doctor's office, Ethel had a heart attack and lost consciousness. Her doctor came out to the parking lot and attempted in vain to resuscitate her.
When we heard the news of Ethel's sudden death, we immediately thought of Felix. Laura called Dr. Johnson and asked her to get Felix. We decided to adopt him, and Dr. Johnson gave him to us on May 6, 2000.
Adjusting to the enormous changes in his life was hard for Felix. We decided that our basement should be his territory for the time being; there he could get accustomed to his new environment and to us before encountering Patrick, our Shetland sheepdog, face-to-face. The basement has a sliding door and an abundance of hiding places.
At first, Felix hid almost constantly. He had a wild, frightened look on his face. Eventually, he looked more relaxed and spent more time in places where he was only partially hidden. Then he started to venture out and approach Clare when she put food in his dish. We hoped that Felix would soon let us pet him. Recognizing his need to grieve and to establish new relationships in his own time, we accepted that progress would be slow.
UPDATE NOTE! Felix died Nov 4, 2003 at about 12:30 am after a battle with kidney failure and diabetes. His age was about 15. More details will be furnished later.
Last modified 4-Nov-2003.