Well there is an old saying “You have live stock you have dead stock” – harsh but true. And sadly here at Tabor Hill we no longer have a cat. Felix the beast of Tabor Mountain has ceased to be. He is pining for the fjords. After 8 1/2 years since we bought him for 40 quid from North Devon Animal Ambulance charity we are no longer ‘pussy footing’ – excuse pun – around Felix. He DID rule this house. No longer is there the performance during the evening of opening doors, keep dogs clear so he could wander in from the ‘Old Dears’ side of house to cat flap on my side. Then wander back, then back round again. The flap ended up on my side as it was the least windy corner of the house and saved endless flap, flap, flapping on windy nights. There was also the time when he climbed through an open bedroom window, landing on a sleeping B&B guest, cos he couldn’t be bothered with the cat flap. Don’t worry, they still come back!
I will admit I never wanted a cat, I don’t like cats, I really don’t understand people’s obsession with cats and I have a problem with cats and our wildlife. But when you buy an extremely run down farm house set in the middle of 203 acres, with various sheds and outbuildings, you have a mouse problem. In fact such a mouse problem I could feel them run across me in bed at night! So a killer cat was required. The Charity did me proud when I phoned enquiring about rehoming.
“I need a killer” I told them.
“How many cats are you likely to have?” Di Lewis at NDAA asked.
“Oh God only one, I hate cats” I replied realising that’s probably not the best answer to give her. Never mind we went, viewed and bought Felix.
He was approximately eight years old, a silver/grey Bengal and a big bugger. A big noisy bugger, Bengals are very vocal. They are also prone to fight, hence the question as to how many cats I was likely to have. He was found wandering the streets of Barnstaple, picked up and as he was microchipped the Charity phoned the owners. They didn’t want him back. They confirmed his age and said they had paid £800 for him as a kitten. Bloody hell, I paid £800 for my horse including tack!!
Still he did his job and very well. He terrorised the dogs, adopted Mum and Dad’s side of the house, took over their spare bedroom and single bed. Well why have a cat bed when you can have a single bed. Ruined the duvet and took over the spare chair in their sitting room.
But sadly at approx 16 he started to show his age, went completely blind, back legs starting to give way, he was getting stressed walking round and round in circles so I made the decision.
Vet Emily and Vet Nurse Colette from Torbridge Vets in South Molton were wonderful. They were professional, friendly, caring and he was put down at home. However, he had the final laugh. I have the builders in with digger, so I asked if they could dig a grave in the field in front of the house. No problems there. However, as Colette and I walked over to the grave we were in for a shock. Colette was carrying Felix wrapped in a towel and we both stopped and looked down. “How the hell am I supposed to get down there?” I said. The grave was vast you could tell it had been dug with a blooming great digger. All I can say is Colette went beyond the call of duty and climbed down. I handed her Felix, she placed him carefully in the grave and finally I had to help her climb out it was that deep!!
RIP Felix. xxxxxxxx