Felix is one of Jane’s ‘special’ cats, having been brought over from Crete to live with her at Woodland Nook. He’s everybody’s friend and, while he may be a little (ahem) overweight, that’s nothing compared to the problems he had early in life. Here Jane tells his remarkable story.
Felix is in my heart and my soul. He found me, he needed someone to help him, he was desperate and clever enough to search for me.
It’s just so amazing and mind-boggling that he suddenly appeared out of nowhere and sat right next to me on the bench.
The next day we found a local veterinary practice and bought Frontline, Drontal and ear cleaner! Felix had really dirty ears and so he was wormed, treated for fleas and had his ears sorted! Good job Jane, just like being at home. He was so gentle with me doing all this to him although he did grumble a little but he knew I was helping him.
For the whole of the holiday, he never left my side and we became best friends. I could feel the need in him, I just wished that I could get him home to the UK.
When we had to return home, I was distraught at the thought of having to leave behind beautiful Cretan King. I left him as much food as I could on the last morning before we left for the airport.
Months went by until finally we were back in Crete. We landed at night but, as soon as we got to the villa, we began our hunt for Felix. “Please God, let him be alive,” I thought. But nothing. I called for him all night, I couldn't bear it. I stayed out until midnight even though we were tired from our flight,, but there as nothing.
We spent most of the next day at the villa, venturing out only for a little shopping. Still there was no sign of Felix at all. We explored the whole seven acres of the plot and felt awful.
Night-time came again and we put cat food out; wet meat, biscuits, thinly sliced ham, too. Half an hour later I went back to inspect the bowls of food just outside our French doors.
I stood over them, feeling very tearful, then… a faint cry! Oh my God, he was here!
“Felix is here!” I shouted to Paul.
Felix came right up to the bowls and started noshing away at the food furiously; he was absolutely starving, so thin, he had seconds and started to slow down with his eating. He polished everything off as I watched with such happiness in my heart… and relief that he was alive.
I was so grateful, so very grateful. If there is a higher being in the clouds, well, I thanked them several times over and promised always to do my utmost to help any cat and kitten I could.
We stayed for a month and Felix was my shadow, my companion, my friend, my soulmate.
Again that dreadful time came and we had to leave.
By this time we had made friends with a wonderful couple who lived on the island and were involved in cat rescue. Paul and I had been helping them whenever we could.
But I knew how stretched they were and, sad to say, nothing could be done at that time to bring my Felix home.
So Paul and I made Felix a shelter from a cardboard box, we strapped it down to one of the chairs outside and bought thick, comfy towels to line it. Felix loved it and must have felt loved and that he ‘belonged’ at last.
A few months went by and we returned to Crete.
Felix was there at the villa; thin again, his nose was a mess, looked bitten and scratched and sore. I treated him for fleas and worms, this time I’d gone prepared, taking products from home!
Normal people take towels, swimming costumes, clothes… well I had the same with the addition of cat meds. I was glad I didn’t have to do any explaining at the airport!
We were staying for a month again, so straight away I asked my friend to help me find a flight for Felix, or a space with a van man. But she told me flights were few and far between and there was not a van man in sight!
But I didn’t give up, I thought ‘We have a month, let’s pray for a miracle’.
I got Felix neutered and micro-chipped so that was two things less to worry about as these are requirements for travel.
The end of the holiday loomed and with just five days to go Paul and I sat outside the villa, Felix on my knee. I was close to tears at the thought of leaving him again. I just couldn’t bear it. I watched him sleep on my lap, so happy to be with me, fed, warm and loved; he didn’t know that he would soon have to fend for himself again!
Then, a miracle. The phone rang.
It was my friend from the island and she said, “I’ve got a flight for Felix, but it’s expensive…”
I interrupted her: “Book it, book it! IT doesn’t matter how much, thank you, I can’t tell you how much this means to me!”
Tears duly arrived, dripping onto Felix which made him meow in his sleep. If only I could explain to him that he’d never be hungry or lonely again because he was coming home!
And so, on the morning of our flight, my friend took Felix in at her cattery, had him vaccinated, including the rabies vaccine he needed for travel. He soon has his own passport, too.
She cared for him and loved him for me. She arranged absolutely everything for him; vet trips, passport, transport. She took him to the airport for me and made sure he was safe and on the plane! She was so tired and worn out with helping others but she did all this for me.
I will never forget how my friend helped me in my desperate time. As I’m normally the one helping other people with their cat situations, this was a new experience for me - to be the one in need of help.
This is why I will always help The Cats Pyjamas Rescue whenever and wherever I can, by sending crates full of food, meds, carriers and litter trays with the help of the lovely volunteers of my shelter, Woodland Nook. I will never forget what she did for me that day… and for Felix, of course!
Felix arrived at Gatwick and Paul and I went down to fetch him. It was raining hard but I hardly noticed, I was so excited to be reunited with Felix again.
This was two years ago. Felix now lives at Woodland Nook; he loves being in the shelter and is grandad to all the kittens; he grooms them and tells them off when they are naughty. He is quite ‘chunky’, shall we say, but he is still in the mindset that each meal may be his last. He is mine and can come into the house when he is good and ready; at the moment, though, he is so content at being in the shelter with the others.