by Chris McHenry
(Delaware County, PA)
Beast at rest
From my previous stories (Felix Finds His Food and Baby Felix), I mentioned that we rescued Felix from outside when he was only a kitten. Well, there is a lot more to the story that I am sure you will enjoy, and it goes something like this....
One day as I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, I looked out the back door and noticed a small cat (kitten) in my neighbors bushes. The cat appeared to be no more than 4 months old and looked very thin and hungry. So I opened the backdoor and threw a piece of meatloaf outside to see if the cat would eat it. Now, never being a cat owner, I had no idea what cats ate, but the cat attempted to eat the meatloaf. However, it looked like the food was too big and he could not get a bite on it. Eventually, the cat scurried away and I closed the door and went inside.
Over the next few weeks the process of me feeding the cat would repeat itself. I would throw some kind of food outside, and the food would eventually disappear, as would the cat. During this time, my neighbor approached me and expressed his feelings about cats. He said that a cat had been living under his porch crawl space, and if he caught it, he was not going to be nice. I reminded him in some many terms that I was an animal lover and would not tolerate any abuse. He laughed and said that he was just kidding and walked away.
The next day when I arrived home I noticed that my neighbor was closing an entry way to his crawl space where the cat had been living. Although it was his property, I offered to take a long look inside of the crawl space to see if the cat was still inside before the entry way was sealed. My neighbor declined the offer and finished the task at hand.
The following day when I arrived home from work I thought I heard a faint meow. I went to the crawl space and peered through the newly installed wire fencing to see if I could spot anything. Unfortunately, it was too dark, so I went and retrieved my flashlight. I shined the light throughout the crawl space not once, but several times to no avail, there was no sight of the cat. After ten-minutes of searching, I decided to call it a day and figured that the cat had moved on.
In the morning, I became restless, wondering were the cat had gone. So I figured I would take one more look in/around the crawl space. I looked once, twice, then three times, but nothing, no cat. I was finally satisfied the cat had moved on. As I walked up the steps to my backdoor to my surprise I heard a meow. I rushed to the crawl space, and there he was through the fencing, weak and frail, but still alive. The next course of action was whether to inform my neighbor that the cat was trapped in his crawl space, or to take matters in my own hands. However, my heart was working before my mind could make the call. Without thinking, I had ripped the enclosure wideopen in an attempt to free the cat.
Predictably, the cat being frightened ran deeper into the crawl space. Being fully committed to destruction of private property and trespassing, I followed the cat into the crawl space! As I crawled through the mud and bugs, I noticed the cat leap into the holes of the cinder blocks, were it was apparently hiding from plain sight. I smacked my hand against the cinder blocks and the cat finally jumped out of the block, and ran from the crawl space to the great outdoors.
Well, you know the rest of the story (see previous stories). We eventually named the cat 'Felix' and brought him into our home, and he has been the son we never had. I want to point out that our neighbor is a senior citizen and probably did not see Felix inside the enclosure (positive thinking). Stay tooned to baby Felix (the mouse memoirs). Thank you for your support and this fantastic website!