It’s not every day you get to meet a celebrity. And it’s certainly not every day you get to meet a cat with a job. And one that’s been promoted, to boot.
Those of you you know me well, will know that I have a soft spot for anything furry. Those of you who know me very well will have heard me wax lyrical about the lovely Miss Felix. She of the Huddersfield Station fame, she of a book of her own, she of a Facebook page with 129,125 followers.
Not only the original Pest Controller, but promoted for good works, to Senior Pest Controller. Senior, no less.
Now we come to England each year, usually on our way to skip across the channel. In the year we properly travelled the UK, I didn’t know about Miss Felix, and so missed the opportunity to meet her. But since then, I’ve often looked up Huddersfield on Google and sighed longingly at how far off it is from our usual path of London, Cornwall, Europe. But….this year, this year of fridge woes and therefore in the UK a little longer than planned, we’re free to go off piste. And so today we find ourselves driving towards Huddersfield. Chris with the patience of Job, me squealing in excitement like a three-year old, chanting: Felix, Felix Felix!!!
Chris has a steadier hand, guiding my expectations with “she might not be there” and”she might not feel like meeting people”, me oblivious to all entreaties for moderation. He might not be terribly demonstrative, but I’m gathering a man who spent at least three hours on Google Earth researching where we can park the beast we drive, where the nearest Tesco is (so I can buy Felix’s favourite Dreamies treats) must love you more than a little. Surely?
Finally we’re there.
Our parking attendant kindly finds us a spot, and cracks a smile at the reason I offer for needing to park here, opposite the station. Miss Felix’s fame extends far and wide. There’s time to skip to the Tesco to pick up the Dreamies. I’m sure they have extra in stock, just for madam.
And just like that, we’re at the station and I have to confess to the delightfully nice railway staff that yes, we’ve come 6,000 km to meet their cat. To their credit, they couldn’t be more charming or helpful. I must not be the only kitty tragic. I can see there are paw prints on the station floor and a rather grand portrait displayed.
They suggest that she was recently on the platform, and so the quest is on.
Up one end. Down the other. No Felix. Oh no! Another pass…. still no. It’s time to ask someone else. A nice station lady says “she was just in that doorway”, but no. She checks in the office and we can hear her saying ” Come on Felix, there are people here to meet you”… and all of a sudden, there she is. Miss Felix, herself.
Oh, she is lovely. Clearly loved. Clearly mistress of all her domain, she slinks out with the best grace she can muster. After all, a girl does need her rest, and it has been interrupted.
She’s a floof, but not excessively so. What Americans would call a tuxedo cat. Her gloriously fluffy tail has a jaunty white tip. Her eyes are a sharp clear green. She’s a very, very, very pretty girl.
We’re not the only fans here either, one of her “Aunts” is on the platform and she tells us that she was only just before speaking to the author of Felix’s book who was here, researching a second book. She’s just as eager for a pat and photo as well.
Considering we pulled her out of seclusion, and out of her rest, Miss Felix is extraordinarily patient while we pet, photograph and generally apply love upon her. She’s very soft. And those little white socks! She’s gracious in accepting pats. And her whiskers are most fabulous. I’m very impressed. She’s suitability named tagged on her collar – girl does need her jewellery.
Not everyone would understand, but I’m utterly thrilled to have met Felix. Hours later, as I write this, I still can’t wipe the smile off my face. I miss my kitties so very much; it’s the internet kitties who fill my need for furry love. To meet one I love (there are a handful around the world) is very special indeed. That it was an unexpected outcome of our delay, is an utterly delightful bonus.
Chris drags me away eventually. It takes a while. The nice man who let us in asks if we managed to see her, and I’m pleased to report we did. I’m sure he could tell we had – I’m literally beaming. Likewise, the ticket lady I hand the Dreamies over to, takes it all very seriously, but I can see her smile underneath. I’m glad I refrained from offering treats in person – there’s a sign saying that Felix is under a medically supervised diet as too many treats have resulted in ill health. Poor kitty.
I’m a big fan of animals with jobs, and Miss Felix is a shining example of what one can achieve by applying oneself. An apprenticeship served on site, she’s been promoted up the ranks for sound performance. Who knows what’s next? Perhaps Community Liaison Officer? Public Relations Officer? I’m sure she would perform admirably in either role.
Let this be a lesson to all pets out there, not to rest on your laurels, wondering when your next treat will come from. Pull yourselves together, consider further education. Open Cat University. Community Dog College perhaps. You can apply on line when your human leaves the computer unattended. You’ll be glad you did. There’s nothing quite as satisfying in this world as a job well done.
Back in my world, we drive somewhere in the afternoon. I’ve no idea where. I’m too busy twittering on about Felix and how lovely she is. *Sigh.* Kitty love. I miss it. Felix, lovely girl, you made me very happy today. The memory of meeting you will stay with me forever.
PS: I can report in good faith that there are NO pests at Huddersfield Station. No sign of Percy the pigeon, nor other interlopers. Clearly, someone is doing an excellent job. Meow. Indeed.