Felix Finds his Feet

I dn==========] (Felix wrote that walking across my keyboard) don’t think he ever lost his feet, but my cousin commented that Felix has landed on his feet. Felix has been with us for just over two weeks. He weighs 3lb (1.36kg).

It’s nice to hear the pitter-patter of little feet around the house. Sometimes it becomes the galloping thunder of little feet. ‘He’s a mixed blessing,’ says Mum as she looks at the pulls in her skirt made by his claws or stands up from her chair to find the laces of her shoes are untied.

Here is Felix the Fearless exploring and playing.

Of course, there are many missed shots of Felix in mid-air, doing somersaults and star jumps, and those funny sideways jumps kittens do. You’ll have to imagine those.

The back of a dining chair helps Felix work on his balance, his poses and applause.

Then it’s time for a stretch on the chair cushion, displaying fangs Dracula would be proud to own.

Can a cat ever be cured of its enthusiasm to join in our meals? We have to shut him in his room at dinner time.

While Felix is mostly confined to the house for now, he has spotted one interesting neighbour – and one outdoor resident.

Felix has some hiding places and out-of-the-way retreats.

Felix in repose is perhaps when he is at his most endearing – even if he’s taken your chair (and the remote).

Hop in!

It’s funny what turns out to be a highlight of the day. I’d taken my 94 year old mother for her driving test. We’d arrived at the testing station in her old Suzuki Swift from which we’d hastily swept the cobwebs before setting out. When you’re sitting a test at 94 you do all you can to make a good impression. Our eyes were caught by this sleek, shiny car at the end of the queue. No cobwebs here.

I was interested by the ‘McLaren’ insignia on the car and asked the driver if I could take a photo. My brother is car-crazy and has a dog called McLaren (after NZ racing driver Bruce McLaren) and at that point that was all I was thinking – that he’d be entertained by a photo. The driver said, ‘Sure,’ then to my surprise hopped out inviting me to hop in. He kindly took a photo or two.

That’s a gull-wing door, my sister said. I found out lots more about this car before the day was much older, including the technical name for those doors: dihedral.

Turns out, only 50 of these cars have been made and two of them are in NZ. It’s a McLaren 720S Le Mans Coupe Limited Edition. And here’s a review.

The interior is very high spec, with top stitching, which reminded me of a friend’s new Peugeot which has lime green top stitching on the black upholstery – and matching lighting strips along the dashboard.

Top stitching in the Peugeot – a sure sign of quality

There’s no top-stitching in my new Suzuki Swift hybrid, but it has more than enough features to keep me busy.

Thinking about it now, it’s refreshing that the driver of the McLaren car was young-ish, tall and neatly dressed, supple enough to slide into the low-slung vehicle. More often you see old, grey or bald men, a bit dishevelled or time worn, driving sporty, often convertible, cars and think (with a bite of car envy), ‘What a waste!’ Like me in the photo: I don’t fit the picture. I hope he was the owner.

My brother’s response to the photo I sent him was, “Yes, but it is not a Ferrari”. Geesh!

Oh, and my mother passed her test. When you have old-lady charm the cobwebs don’t matter. And her older model Suzuki interior does have top-stitching!

Meet Felix

One of my nephews has been keen for a while to get his grandmother (my mum) a cat. I knew she would love that, but I’d been adamant that our pet-owning days were over (all that effort and heart-break) and had the dog and cat doors removed long ago. The arrival of the hens is another story altogether.

Eventually, my nephew got us in a weak moment to agree that Mum would love a cat to sit on her knee. It’s her 94th birthday this week, and he got his family organised to visit the SPCA. They sent photos of the kitten they had chosen, and I had to speak to an SPCA employee to make sure I approved the adoption – and to ‘pass the test’, I’m guessing. She sounded pleased that I’d rescued my last cat, Skipper, from a skip. Come to think of it, all my pets (now called ‘companion animals’) have been rescued. This little one was found on his own under a pallet. His birth date is 9 October, though I don’t understand how they can be so accurate!

He arrived at our house on Saturday afternoon. He was already neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. He had his own sheepskin blanket and a toy dog. The family added a sleeping igloo and plush catnip balls (which he loves) – and cat litter, box and scoop.

We spent a pleasant afternoon watching the kitten settle in and explore. Following the literature provided in his adoption pack, we have kept him to one room for now. Even with the doors open during the day, he shows little interest in going further – so far.

Mum was very quiet and we hoped that he would prove suitable for an elderly person who might be nervous of scratches to fragile skin or stockings. Fortunately, he seems (so far) to be gentle and quite timid. We asked if she would like to choose a name and she quickly decided on ‘Felix’. His SPCA name was ‘Raindrop’.

Felix spent his first night with the donkeys.

It seems miraculous that a creature so small knows how to take care of itself. He came toilet trained (thankfully – only one ‘accident’ overnight) and is good at his ablutions before settling to sleep.

Yesterday, Vera stepped in to take a look at the newcomer and spent a while studying him. Both kept their distance. Felix was becoming bolder, playing furiously, then sleeping. I bought him a scratching post – choosing a solid, NZ-made one, no assembly required. Last night Felix slept again with the donkeys.

This morning, Felix played, hunted a fly, luxuriated in the sunshine and then, in a break-through, settled on Mum’s lap. Job done, everyone!