But, it turns out not everyone loves you when you’re a mascot. Not until I walked the court in Felix’s feet did I understand that mascots are not always greeted with a high five or a fist bump, or even better, a big ol' hug. As someone who normally opts for the latter when encountering a mascot, I was taken aback by this strange breed.
There were some small children who were not only not happy to see me, they were appalled by my sheer existence. For those who could, they’d cry and run for safer ground. For others too young to have authority over their legs, they’d seek the safety of their mom’s chest and cling for dear life.
And then there were the middle-schoolers. When you get to a certain age, you’re just too cool to show excitement over Felix’s ear-to-ear grin and massive, happy eyes staring back at you. Yes, Felix is for babies, if you ask them. Well, clearly not for all babies.
And then there are the adults who are just too serious to engage in the antics of a cat. But unlike the kids who thought they were too cool, I decided the adults were fair game. Among my victims was the completely innocent athletic director. The poor guy was just trying to watch the game. Too bad Felix stood nearby and mimicked his every move. Onlookers laughed, but the subject of Felix’s attention did not. Also not amused was the police officer who threatened — in jest? — to cuff the curious cat and haul him out of the gymnasium. But that’s another story.
BACK TO REALITY
As the third quarter of the varsity game wrapped up, I had reached my breaking point. It was just too hot in that suit to carry on for the final quarter. I rounded up my escort and headed back up to the locker room.