“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – the late French poet, journalist and novelist Anatole France
A Brief One for the Animals by Doug Draper
Posted January 3rd, 2020 on Niagara At Large
If you drive due east from Niagara, Ontario and Buffalo, across the whole 300-some-odd- mile distance of the New York State Thruway, the first town you enter when you cross the border from New York to Massachusetts is West Stockbridge.
Nestled in the picture-perfect Berkshire Hills, this quaint little New England town hosts a population of about 1,600 people and up to March of 2017, one remarkable feline named Felix, known affectionately by town folk as “everyone’s pet cat.”
My wife Mary and I met Felix, or rather he met us, one sunny afternoon in June of 2016 after we stopped to take a short walk through the town before continuing our drive back home to Niagara after visiting friends on Cape Cod.
We had just left a nice old bookstore and were about to cross a bridge spanning a river flowing through the town when we looked down and there, walking just a few feet in front of us and looking back from time to time, as if to see if we were still coming, was this yellow-haired cat with long, lanky legs and not much more than a stub for a tail
He kept walking a few paces in front of us as if he was the town’s ambassador, proudly taking us on a tour, and if we stopped for a moment to look in a shop window, he would wait patiently until the three of us would walk on together again. That was the way it was until we arrived at a store on the main street to get some of those great sandwiches we heard they make there for our trip home.
Inside the store, I asked about the cat, and someone said with a big smile; “Oh, you just met our town cat Felix. He loves to show people around.” Continue reading