• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Bruce on the loose


PHOTO COURTESY ELISA EDKINS-PROCTOR

Bruce the sociable cat will not be contained and regularly ventures out of his owner’s apartment to take a nap on the furniture in one of the stores in Stillview Mall in Pointe-Claire.

A Pointe-Claire cat and intrepid explorer named Bruce has become somewhat of a Facebook celebrity over the past year. The nine-year-old tabby adopted from a shelter by resident Elisa Edkins-Proctor is a frequent patron of the Stillview Mall close to Lakeshore Hospital.

Unlike most cats that prefer the great outdoors and a quiet nap under a tree, Bruce prefers to take his naps on a shelf of the local dépanneur or better yet, on a comfy chair in a medical equipment store.

Bruce's fascination with shops − especially dépanneurs − started even before Elisa moved to Pointe-Claire.

"We used to live in Hudson. We lived there for a year or two, and Bruce used to frequent the dépanneur across the road. He would go to the cat food section there and hang out." Bruce also seems to be a practicing Catholic. "In St. Thomas Church, Bruce apparently walked down the middle of the isle during a service. Father Demers was doing the sermon, and Bruce just plopped down on his chair and made himself comfortable. So when Father Demers came down from the pulpit, he had nowhere to sit."

Elisa has a theory regarding Bruce's wandering ways and fascination with public places. "He's very attracted to people. He's very loving, and he's very sweet. He's just not very keen on the new cat." Elisa adopted a second cat, and Bruce does not seem to like him very much.

Elisa's move from Hudson to Pointe-Claire did not deter Bruce from seeking to make new friends in public places. It actually gave him an opportunity to explore new places and to meet new people. "We now live in an apartment complex by the Stillview Mall, so he's now taken to simply hanging out in the mall. He's very attracted to this store, which is next door to the Pharmaprix that sells medical equipment and specialized chairs. There is a big comfy chair in the corner of the store, and he likes to just plop on it and curl up."

Bruce actually manages to get into the medical equipment store even when it's closed. "There's a doorway through Pharmaprix. I have that picture of him with the sign that says 'nous sommes fermés' (we're closed), but there's Bruce in the closed shop, sitting in the chair."

Elisa feels that Bruce is in no danger outside, even in Pointe-Claire. "He's pretty safe. He tends to just want to hang around the mall, and he wants to be around people. He goes into the Couche-Tard. The employees told me that Bruce once walked up to where the cat food is, pushed the cat food off the shelf and made himself a little bed on the shelf."

But the Stillview Mall shops don't appear to be enough for Bruce. People have reported seeing him use the elevator to get around in Elisa's apartment building. "I don't know where he's been going. He's obviously not tall enough to reach the buttons. I'm just glad he came back down to the ground floor."

We don't know where Bruce's adventures will take him next, but he is quite a character and living proof that cats are people too. "He really is. He's like a little furry person."

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