One Good Life in Los Angeles

Roslyn's observations about places and events around Southern California

Feline Friday – #4 – Fitz and Foothill

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fitzfootAbove is a little animated gif I had up on an old website of my two cats Fitz, a gray stripe tabby and Foothill, black and white.

I don’t remember the exact dates but they were around in the 80s and 90s.

fitz and foothill

A mysterious paw appears

I was a big Gilbert & Sullivan fan at the time. I named Fitz after Captain Fitzbattleaxe, First Life Guards from the operetta Utopia, Limited. Utopia was the second to last collaboration and not very popular. But I liked the name, even though Fitz was a girl.

Fitz was another case of a cat adopting humans. When we visited the West Los Animal Shelter she was the one cat who stuck her paws out of the cage to wave at us. In those days they didn’t allow prospective adopters to handle the cats (a policy that has changed, thank goodness) so we couldn’t really tell too much about her personality.

fitz and foothill

What is it about cats and paper bags?

On the way home in the car she was pressing her nose against the window like a dog, really excited about watching the scenery going by. Among all the cats I have had in my entire life, I have to say she was the most intelligent. I could go on and on with stories about her activities.

Foothill was named after Foothill Boulevard, the main street which runs for 60 miles east to west through the foothill districts and cities of Los Angeles. At about three weeks old he was found on that boulevard, flea-infested and starving, scavenging in a trash can in Tujunga.

fitz and foothill

Foraging for cabbages

I was working late and when I came home one night I walked into the dark kitchen. I accidentally kicked a box that was left on the floor… what the heck is this doing here, I thought. When I turned on the light and bent over to pick up the box I saw a tiny black and white bundle of fur… purring loudly.

We already had two cats, Felicity and Fitz and I had said “no more!” But he was such a sweetie and needed a good home, so after we named him, he became part of the family. Felicity was a feral cat and not allowed indoors as she had never learned to use a litter box.

When Fitz and Foothill met, for the first few days it was a contest of wills. Fitz was the dominant cat with Felicity and of course, wanted to hold that position in the hierarchy. Fitz by then was 9 months old and three times the size of Foothill. But Foothill was a scrappy little guy and would stand up on his hind legs to box Fitz on the nose!

felicity

Felicity

Fitz and Foothill had an interesting relationship. Foothill was a little slow mentally, probably because of lack of nutrition in the first few weeks of life. He followed Fitz around like her shadow, doing everything she did. And as Fitz was so bright, she got into all kinds of adventures with Foothill willingly being her accomplice.

fitz and foothill

A barrel (or a pot) of fun

On the other hand, Foothill had shown his dominance with his physical strength which increased as he became healthier and bigger. Although both cats were fixed, Foothill’s favorite pastime was climbing on Fitz’s back and… do I have to go into the graphic details? Fitz was not having any of it and would turn around and howl at Foothill.

Sounds like the typical marriage, huh? You KNOW, I’m just kidding, right?

fitz and foothill

Naw, cats don’t like tuna…. just the boxes…

At the age of fourteen, Fitz had an accident, snapped her spine in two, and I had to put her to sleep. I’ll never forget waiting at the vet’s office with Fitz’s head resting on my shoulder, lifeless from the middle of her beautiful body on down to the end of her tail.

Foothill pretty much died that day too. He didn’t know what to do with himself and went into a deep depression. He would literally stand in one spot for an hour or more, suddenly keel over on the floor and then stay in that position for another hour or so. A year later he passed, I believe, with a broken heart.

Inseparable in life, I know they are now having all kinds of adventures on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

(The photos were scanned in from mostly long-faded prints but at least they are preserved forever.)

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

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Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles. Recently I rediscovered photography and I am busy learning everything I can about it. It's a great excuse for getting outside, wandering around and stopping to look at things.

15 thoughts on “Feline Friday – #4 – Fitz and Foothill

  1. Meet your kindred spirit, I’m also a “multifaceted” one.

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  2. What beauties! Felicity was a gorgeous cat. Too bad about the peeing.

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  3. What cuties! We’re a multi-cat household, too. It’s a happy thought about Fitz and Foothill being reunited! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a sweet post with lovable cat portraits ! Lovely stories and adventures as well,but I was so sad to read about Fitz’s misforture and how Foothill followed … Their story broke my heart … 😦

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    • I have to admit I was shedding a few tears when I wrote it… but they had a great life together for many years.

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      • I very well know the feeling my friend ; they go away and take part of our heart with them … When my beloved Edward,a lovely Lab dog,left us in 2012,I suffered from depression for a very long time.He was with us,and part of the family, for 12 years.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovie dovey kitties. Nice, Ros.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a sad ending. 😦 But I enjoyed reading about their lives. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Love the cat in the tuna box. 🙂 So sad about Fitz’s accident. I’m sure that animals can and do, die of broken hearts, just like us humans.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fits and Foothill, how awesome ~ great story, and even though there is always sadness in the end it cannot match all the happiness created. Cheers to a great story.

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  9. Pingback: Feline Friday – #7 – Poem for Captain Fitzbattleaxe | One Good Life in Los Angeles

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