Feeling a little better….and sick and tired of being sick and tired….I decided to venture out of the cottage. Friday’s outings were short….shopping in Narbonne followed by lunch at En Bonne Compagnie in Homps. Saturday took us a little further afield….with a drive to the beach in Portigragnes and shopping in Beziers. All in all, my life this week pales in comparison to Felix’s……who has new adventures every day.
Felix has settled in quite well to life in France….he watches with aplomb as boats glide past and doesn’t bat an eye when horses trot by. He relishes his time outdoors (a treat that was usually denied him in California) but comes running home when we call him.
Felix’s day starts early…..often before the sun rises…..when he wakes from his slumbers with a big stretch, evaluates his current condition and determines his priorities……breakfast first and then a little cuddling? Or vice versa?
Once this decision has been made, he goes about attaining it….by waking up the person best suited to meet these needs…..me! His communication skills are impeccable…..tender paw pats on my face indicate he needs some petting while a gentle nip on my nose tells me he’s hungry.
After his immediate needs have been met, we adjourn to the living room to watch the morning’s news….I turn on the television while Felix gets all the information he needs from his perch next to the front window.
Soon, he hears Craig’s footsteps on the bedroom stairs. In one swift motion, he’s off the perch and in front of the door….. stretching…..stretching…..stretching…..reaching for the door’s handle…..wishing he was one inch taller…..only one inch separates him from freedom! But he needn’t worry, he knows his people well. Craig looks down at him and says, “Do you want to go outside, li’l buddy?” Felix nods and, as he opens the door, Craig says, “Look both ways for dogs.” Felix bounds out the door, runs halfway down the stairs, stops, looks both ways, then continues on his journey.
With the summer winds gently blowing through his fur, he suns himself on the stone steps in the backyard, wanders through the vineyards behind the cottage, searches for tender green grasses by the canal and finds little “friends” to play with….lizards, mice, voles (they probably think he’s the neighborhood bully but Felix means no harm to his new friends…. they all live to play another day….well, all except one…..one day, a little vole was gently dropped at Craig’s feet….a plaintive look in Felix’s eyes seemed to say, “It’s broken….can you fix it, Dad?”).
So much exercise makes Felix a little peckish so he’ll return to the porch and softly call out until we open the door. If he’s been out too long , we begin to worry….so we’ll go to the door and call out to him. If he’s within earshot, he’ll come running….bounding up the stairs and into the kitchen…..anticipating (rightly so) a few Greenies for his trouble. I don’t know which of us is better trained.
Ahhh…..after a morning constitutional and a few snacks, it’s time for a nap. Felix curls up in one of his many sleep spots…..the bedroom dresser, his tower, the dining table, Craig’s lap, the back of the sofa, the closet…..any will do…..and takes a well-deserved rest.
A good nap can bring on a horrible hunger…..so after waking with a big yawn and a long stretch, Felix heads into the kitchen for lunch. Other than an occasional foray into canned tuna, Felix is a crunchy kibble guy so you’d think he’d be easy to please. But no, my friends, his kibble must be “fresh”…..anything remaining from breakfast might as well be poison. Felix can look at a full bowl of food and determine that he has nothing to eat. We could feed another cat (or perhaps two) with Felix’s crumbs.
With his tummy full, he ambles to the bedroom….it’s time for a leisurely repose on the dresser in front of the open windows…..watching the bicycles, the boats and the hikers go by while he plans his afternoon adventures.
Prowling his own quiet backyard or asleep by the fire, he is still only a
whisker away from the wilds. – Jean Burden