This is the love story as told to me by Theresa Dancy Jubier, the mama of Felix the Black Shorthair Domestic Cat from New Milford, Bergen County, New Jersey.
Tell me about the first time you met Felix, when and where was it? How did you feel and what made you feel that way?
I was taking a tutored French class in Montclair, New Jersey. After my class, I and a few friends were having a meal at European Crepes. Sitting outside on the terrace, these girls were screaming, “There’s a cat hissing under your feet!” A few mins later this little black cat jumps up on my lap and starts eating my salmon! He had fleas, and I noticed that he had no claws and couldn’t defend himself. I was in my early thirty’s and not looking for a pet. Two weeks later. I am driving to Walmart to get all the stuff to care for this cat. I stood in the parking lot with my car door open thinking if he is meant to be mine. He just sat in the car and stared at me; he chose me! Initially, I was going to call this little black cat, Amalie, but when I went to the vet, he told me, “You might want to rethink that name because he is a boy!” My boyfriend at that time, today my husband named him Felix. Felix was naughty, he peed on everything! I said, “This is it, I am going to find a foster!” I felt that he wasn’t enjoying being with me, but it was as if he knew what I was saying because the next I know he is laying his head on me, and I was in love! Felix was ours for twelve years, he was my first baby, and now I have two little girls.
Thinking back, how would you describe Felix’s personality as a kitten? And as an adult?
He was the kind of cat who was liked by people. People who didn’t like cats liked him. He was not afraid to nuzzle up, we called him the shrimp cat because of the way he rolled up like a shrimp. Felix peed on things all the time, it never stopped for long. Maybe he’d stop for a while, but it started again, he couldn’t control it. He was such a sweet boy. He’d sit on my shoulder. He was magical! Dog people loved Felix, he was a spoiled cat who laid down for treats, he was a dog-cat. He was especially spoiled by my husband Fred, who would make sure that Felix had his daily fresh air by taking him out in our yard even when it was raining.
And now how would Felix describe your personality, Theresa?
He would say, “She’s my Mommy! She cuddles me, she does everything for me, she spoils me rotten!” I put him first until the kids came along, he learned to deal with them and vice versa, and we were his parents. Felix hated it when we go on trips, so much so, he would hide in suitcases! What a personality.
What did you learn from Felix?
He grew me up. I was in my late twenties, early thirties, no family, and I was partying in the city. He grounded me, he was someone I came home to, he taught me discipline and responsibility. Felix also showed me that my husband was “Dad” material!
What are the top three things you always want to remember about your love?
1. That he was so loving and able to pierce the heart of the cat haters.
2. He was calm and gentle even with newborn babies.
3. He was protective, one time he chased a wasp down the bathroom drain to protect us!
When did Felix earn his wings?
September 13, 2019
When did you join Paws?
End of September 2019
Do you remember how you found Paws?
Felix went missing and there were a lot of people looking for him, it was a very painful situation. One of the women recommended you and your group to me.
What has or is helping you get to the other side of grief? What advice would you share with someone who recently started grieving?
Let yourself grieve, don’t let people tell you, “It’s just a pet!” A pet is family, and it’s absolutely acceptable to grieve a pet as a family member. We brought him home. We feel lucky to have found him. We have his picture on our wall, and we often bring down the box and talk to him. The kids remember him, we don’t want to let the memory fade. It’s our personal way of staying close to him. I never feel he’s completely gone.
Where are you now in your grief?
There are days that I have tears. I had numbness and I think I’m beyond it, but I’ve allowed myself to cry. I am so fortunate to have a husband who feels the same way I do about Felix and grieving his loss. The Paws site is so helpful. To find people who grieve in the same way as you do compared to talking to people who don’t understand has been healing.
Using your spiritual and intuitive mind, if I could get a message to Felix from you, what would you want to say? What would you want to let Felix know?
I‘m sorry. I’d want him to know that he was so loved. It was ten days for him to find his way home. People all over town searched for him. I want him to know that we’ve cut the people out of our lives that put him in danger. Never would I have left him with them if I knew, I am so, so, sorry. That we love him, always will, the children love him, he will never be replaced. He is, and will always be my first baby,
And if I could get a message from you to Felix what would you like to know?
That he knew he was loved; to know that he forgives us, and he knew we loved him. That he’s ok and that he’s peeing on God’s furniture in heaven!
Is there anything else you would like to share with you Paws Pack about Felix?
I could even give him instructions in French, and he understood every word! He was a very picky eater, and that I was the one who had to feed him, Dad wasn’t permitted to. It had to be his Mom, and if Dad tried, Felix would come over and yell at me! He was a dog cat, he was perfect.