When Anne and Peter Hopkinson moved to Oak Bay two years ago, the couple believed it would take time to connect with their neighbours. For new residents to any city, this is often the case – but for the Hopkinsons and their kitten Minx, it was not. As soon as the cat grew old enough to go outside, Anne met a new neighbour every day.
“From the day she was let out the door, she explores, she visits, she goes up to people on the street and tries to encourage them to pat her,” Hopkinson said. A grey tabby with only a collar and phone number to account for her housecat status, Minx has made herself known on St. Patrick Street and in surrounding areas. Hopkinson says her cat has the spirit of a gypsy – and the confidence to treat every home as her own.
“I’ve met a couple, Harvey and Claire. They were looking for the owner and I was looking for the cat, so we met.” Hopkinson added, “I’ve met the Turners. They liked her, of course, because she’s friendly. They took her in during the day and put her out at night.” These are only a few of the neighbours Minx has temporarily fostered herself to. The cat targets beds, campers, vans and trucks. If car windows are left rolled down, she can be found curled inside.
“One day, the neighbours across the street were getting their drains fixed and the man had a big truck there, so Minx climbed right in the truck,” she said. Minx remained inside as the work crew packed and drove away. “Fortunately they discovered her about a block and a half away.”
When Hopkinson wants Minx home, she heads out equipped with a bag of Temptations cat treats and wanders her neighbourhood. The sound of the treats and Hopkinson’s call of “Here, kitty-kitty!” lure Minx from whichever park, house or yard she occupies. She is frequently found behind a row of blackberry bushes, in a favourite backyard, or at the park off St. David’s Street. Hopkinson has spotted her peering out through neighbours’ windows.
“We try to keep her in once in a while, but she really likes to be out,” Hopkinson said. “We love this cat. Sometimes she sleeps on my bed. It’s just a matter of her really liking to visit everyone else.”
Minx is free to wander during the day, but if she does not return for several nights her absence becomes cause for concern. Hopkinson assures all Minx is not a stray. She discourages feeding and asks that neighbours put her outside if she comes in.
To those she has met and has yet to meet, Hopkinson says, “See you soon.”