Felix the Cat

Felix aka Felix the Cat is a 5-year-old Hampshire pig who was born on February 15th, 2015. Felix was one of our first residents here at Luvin Arms and is currently the oldest out of all of our pig residents. The nickname Felix the Cat was given to him by one of our amazing caregivers, Thera who was our very first caregiver here at Luvin Arms and is one of Felix’s best friends.

“I love caring for Felix. I love how he looks up at you to say hi with his little puppy dog eyes and his tongue hanging out. He is a gentle old soul with a childlike sense of wonder. He has always had a special place in my heart and always will,” Thera shared.

Felix came to Luvin Arms in the winter of 2015 with his friend/brother Franklin, who passed away in 2016 from a severe case of arthritis and other health issues. Originally, Felix and Franklin lived in Colorado Springs at the Rock Ledge Ranch, which is managed by the Colorado Springs Park Recreation. It is a ‘historical’ ranch, which showcases life in the region in the 1800’s. Each year, the ranch raises a pair of pigs so that the visitors can watch their growth throughout the year. In November, the pair of pigs are slaughtered and processed into meat and lard, etc., in front of a paying audience to demonstrate how vital livestock was to people during that time period.

Felix was destined for the slaughter demo in 2015. Luckily, someone fell in love with him over time and resolved to save him and his friend Franklin. A campaign was created to negotiate their release with the City and Ranch Manager, who consented after mounting public pressure. Since then, Felix has had a forever home here at Luvin Arms and will continue to live out the rest of his life here happy, healthy, and completely loved.

Felix is a gentle giant with a tender and spunky heart. He is loved, cared for, and adored by all that are fortunate enough to meet him. Some of his favorite activities include: hanging out with his human and non-human friends, getting belly rubs, eating peanut butter & banana sandwiches, lounging in his cool mud pit, exploring the pasture with his girls, Lizzie and Lily, snoozing in front of the big fan, and saying hello to all who visit him. Animals also have favorite foods and least favorite foods. Felix is a big fan of watermelon, pumpkin, animal crackers, peanut butter sandwiches, berries, and hay, but isn’t a huge fan of brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

On an average day you can find him catching big zzz’s in his home, kicking back and blowing bubbles in his mud pit, and going on little adventures to the pasture with his friends. One of the sweetest things Felix does is greet you when you go in to say hi to him. The more you say hello and start saying his name, the more excited Felix gets and starts saying hello back. He will even sit up sometimes with a big grin on his face and say hello. Although Felix is the alpha of all of the pigs and is strong, confident, and resilient, he is also sensitive, loving, social and affectionate. Felix is an amazing friend who cares deeply for all of his human and non-human companions.

Over the past 4 years, Felix has lost 3 of his closest friends and brothers. Franklin, Peter, and Desmond are all now stars in the night sky. Felix shared a living space with each one of his friends and developed deep bonds with them. Felix is an emotional sentient being who experiences a wide range of emotions similar to the way humans do. If you have ever experienced the death of a loved one, a family member, or a close friend you could empathize with Felix and the loss of his dear friends.

Shortly after Desmond passed away, we noticed that Felix was showing some signs of sadness and loneliness. Just like humans grieve by the loss of a loved one, so do animals. We wanted to give Felix the time he needed to grieve the loss of his friend, but we also wanted to make sure that he had all of the love, support, and companionship he needed to make it through such a life changing and difficult time. After some time had passed, the care team decided to see how Felix would feel about having Lizzie and Lily become his new roommates. It took some time for all three of them to become comfortable with one another and learn to trust each other, but once they did, they all became best friends.

You can now find Felix, Lizzie, and Lily all snuggled up together most of the time. Sometimes Felix will even sleep nose to nose with Lizzie, which is absolutely adorable. We like to say that him and Lizzie have a special love connection and were destined to be together. Love and companionship mean so much to animals just like they do to humans. Happy, loving, nurturing, and supportive relationships keep the heart and soul young.

Not only can Arthritis be present and found in humans, but it can also be found in pigs as well as other farmed animals. Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. Animals that are raised in the industry for food are genetically altered to grow as big and fast as they can in the shortest amount of time possible. With this method of breeding, many of the animals who are lucky enough to live past 6 months experience short as well as long-term health and mobility issues throughout their entire lives. Franklin and Felix were rescued around the age of 6 months, and both of them started showing signs of Arthritis within the first year of being rescued.

Felix’s arthritis has gotten worse over the years as he has gotten older, which has required us to work hand in hand with our vet and experiment and try a variety different methods to give him the best care possible. People who suffer from and live with Arthritis have “good days” and “bad days” just like Felix does. On Felix’s better days, he is active, talkative, social, and curious. He enjoys his trips out to the pasture, loves to go into his cool mud pit, and looks forward to his clicker play sessions. On Felix’s more chill/low energy days where his arthritis is more inflamed, he spends more time resting and napping with his girls and will often take a short trip out to his mud pit for a little cool down.

Felix is currently on multiple pain and inflammation medications, CBD oil, supplements, gets regular massages and reiki treatments, and eats a very healthy diet. Another important part of pig health care is doing regular hoof trimmings, which can be stressful as well as uncomfortable for the residents. Sometimes vet assistance is needed to help us get the hooves to a nice and healthy length. After trying and experimenting with multiple different methods, our vet and care team has found the perfect method for regular hoof trimmings that works best for Felix.

Felix has many layers to his personality, and the more you’re around him the more the layers get peeled back and allow for his true light to shine. He is strong yet soft. Confident yet humble. Courageous yet sensitive. And social yet selective. He has brought so much love and joy and continues to bring so much love and joy to everyone’s lives, especially to his lovely ladies. His connection with Lizzie and Lily is one of the sweetest connections I’ve ever seen. There is so much love, trust, support, and friendship between them that I cannot help but smile when thinking about it. Felix is fully loved and cared for by everyone here at Luvin Arms and all of us will continue to give him the absolute best care and life possible for the rest of his time here. Felix is a wise old soul who still has much to share and lots more to teach us.

Without close and reciprocal relationships with other animal beings, we’re alienated from the rich, diverse, and magnificent world in which we live in.
–Marc Bekoff

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