I took Frankie for a walk Thursday but this time he took me on a different route. He doesn’t always go the same way but he usually heads out away from the front of the house. This time we walked around the corner and went behind the house.
By the time we reached the second street I noticed a cat just past the house on the corner. He was looking at Frankie and Frankie, I thought, was looking at him. I was expecting trouble but nothing happened. Frankie just continued on. Perhaps Frankie’s eyesight isn’t so good. I don’t know.
So we continued another block or so and when it became clear that Frankie was just going to continue to walk in a straight line away from home I decided to turn him around. I have tested him in the past to see how far he will go and it never ends well. I always end up carrying him home way farther than I want to.
I picked Frankie up and started walking back toward home. I knew he would struggle but that was okay because I just wanted to turn him around, not end his time outside. By the time we got back to the street that the cat was on Frankie started struggling so I put him down. That is when he really noticed the cat and started walking toward him. There was no growling or hissing so I thought maybe It would be a friendly encounter but that was like thinking I might win the lottery without buying a ticket.
When Frankie got closer both cats started making a loud yowling sound. This cat had a collar so he wasn’t a stray. I quickly snapped a photo and then picked Frankie up and carried him home.
He fought me all the way but I thought he was too agitated to continue a walk so I held on until we got home. I will have to see on our next walk if he remembers and heads that way again.
I did a DNA test recently and I was almost certain it would come back 100% Nomad but apparently they don’t test for that. I counted all the homes I have lived in throughout my 57 years and ran out of fingers and toes. 22 was the number I came up with and that is assuming I didn’t miss one or two. Well, soon that number will be 23.
We currently live in a 55+ mobile home community in Florida where we own our home but pay lot rent. That rent goes up every year faster than inflation. Our original plan was to buy a motor home when we retire and travel in the summer but we needed a home base that wouldn’t cost so much while we were away. We spent a lot of time looking around here but it is almost impossible to find anything but a fixer upper or a tiny home with one bathroom for less than $200,000. Condos are an option too but with their high maintenance fees they are not much better than what we are paying now.
Enter option number two. A couple of years ago I went with Rose on one of her business trips to West Virginia and Virginia. At the time she was managing an apartment complex in each of those states. I was most impressed with the town that the West Virginia property was in. It is a small town on the Ohio River of about 3500 people or so and it just seemed like a nice change of pace. We currently live in the most densely populated county in Florida and driving places can be a real drag sometimes.
We stayed at a bed and breakfast and the owners there mentioned that the house across the street was for sale. They said it would probably sell for about $40,000. The place was about as big as the bed and breakfast and Rose and I figured it would probably take another $40,000 to restore it, still an excellent deal. While the idea of buying a home there intriged us, we were not ready for that commitment.
Two years later Rose comes across a Five-bedroom, three-bath, 3000 square foot home for $159,000. The home is not only in good condition but it has a separate two-car garage that has an apartment above it that we can rent. It is also 120 years old and is on the National Historic Registry.
I always assumed we would downsize when we retire. We even talked about living on a boat in the winter and then living in a motorhome in the summer. This house is the exact opposite of what I imagined but I think we will really like it there. The photos below were taken from the Realtor.com website. We have not seen the house in person.
I think the cats will have a great time exploring this house but I may have a hard time getting an accurate cat count.
I was hoping to get a home with a fenced yard where we could let the cats out but this fence probably is too short to be useful. Still, I could probably figure something out so that they can enjoy the outside. Maybe we could screen in this patio for starters.
Of course, this won’t be a done deal for a couple of weeks and anything can happen before then but so far, everything seems good. For now we will be going back and forth between our two homes and eventually we will sell the Florida home.
My biggest problem has been figuring out how to best transport the cats. My original plan was to rent a cargo van and put a cat playpen in the back. (Note: I am using Amazon links so you can see what I am talking about. I am not recommending anything but I will get a small commission if you buy something). I thought I could put the three cats in the pen with a small litter box and some water and maybe food. Then we could pack the rest of the van with supplies. I didn’t think we needed to bring anything big since it would be easier to buy everything there. I also thought we could rent a car carrier and tow Rose’s car. That idea was shot down when I could barely find van rentals that were one-way and none had a towing option. In addition, the vans that were one-way had a $350 drop off fee that doubled the price.
My second option was to buy a hitch for Rose’s car and rent a trailer. I would then have to put the cats in the back seat of her two-door car which wouldn’t be easy. I thought I could find one big carrier that covered the entire back seat but no such luck. Then I found out that her sister was giving her a sofa and loveseat which meant we had to rent a truck and since we were renting a truck Rose decided to bring the bed in the spare bedroom and she also bought the mermaid dresser from the last post.
I dreaded the idea of renting the truck because we would then have to put the cats in the front seat between us for the fourteen-hour drive which would probably be sixteen hours in a truck. We decided it was too long and will split the trip in two and stay at a hotel in South Carolina.
I went to a local U-Haul location and measured the space in between the seats. I then ordered two pet crates. One crate is 18×24 inches and the other is 13 x 22 inches. I could have ordered two of the larger crates but then I would have a problem getting them both in Rose’s car on the way home. My plan is to seatbelt the larger crate between the seats and then attach the smaller crate above it. I will put Chris with Floki and Frankie by himself to minimize fighting.
The larger crate arrived last week and the cats, or at least Frankie and Floki, were very curious about it. Chris must have been napping.
I wish I could give them a bigger space but we just don’t have the room. It is the trip with the cats that I dread the most. I think, perhaps, it is because I fear the unknown. What happens if there is an accident or we break down? What if one of them escapes the hotel? I’ve never been a Boyscout but I like to be prepared.
I wrote their names on the front and my phone number on the back. The Tile has a range of about 200 feet and you can find it using an app on your phone. There is one that has twice the range but it is also twice as heavy. The nice thing is if anyone else with a Tile app comes within range of your tile the location will be recorded for you. It is not perfect but it is an added piece of mind. We also have all the cats microchipped as well so that will help too.
So I think I am as prepared as I can be but I would welcome any suggestions and a little luck too.
My wife is into mermaids and saw a dresser on Offer Up that she had to have. We went by the store after my grandson’s first birthday party on Saturday but we were too late. Someone had bought it but had not yet picked it up. After a phone call or two, the buyer agreed to take a different dresser so we were free to buy the mermaid one. Rose paid for it but we had to go home and get my car to pick it up.
I went back without Rose and the store clerk removed the drawers and we carried it outside. I would have put the drawers back in before putting it in my car but she seemed not to want to do that. I assumed that she felt it would be too heavy with the extra weight so I respected that and we put it through the hatchback without the drawers. I had enough room for two drawers in the front seat so I brought it home three drawers shy.
Of course everyone had to investigate. Frankie went high and Chris went low. I put the center drawer in but Chris was lying where the bottom drawer went so I left that out and went to get the other drawers. While I was gone Rose took a photo of all three of the cats on, or in, the dresser.
Here is what it looks like put together. I guess the middle drawer was not the middle drawer. You can also see I wasn’t lying about Rose being into mermaids.
On another note, I have a vet appointment for Frankie this morning to get him microchipped. I suppose, just like with Floki, I will be forced to pay for an examination too since he has never been to that vet and because they can’t make a decent profit on a microchip.
There is a reason Rose bought this dresser and I want all the cats microchipped. I will talk about that soon on another post.
My wife had an appointment to get her nails done yesterday but I was parked behind her so I had to leave with her to move my car. I went out the door first and then Rose followed right behind me. As she was walking out the door Frankie slipped past her and ran outside. I tried to catch him but he ran under a nearby van where he knows I can’t reach him.
Knowing Rose was waiting for me I walked back to my car so I could get it out of her way. As I go close Rose said to me, “You need to be more careful when you walk out the door.” I guess that officially made it my fault.
After I moved my car I went to check on Frankie.
He was rolling around under that van as if to say, “Na na na na na, you can’t catch me!”
I walked back to the house and sat on the steps in the hot sun waiting for him to make his next move. After about ten minutes he walked toward our neighbor’s house and I quietly followed him. I saw him poke his head into a small opening leading under the house and I didn’t want him to go there so I backed off. But then I thought the hole was too small to fit through so I advanced again. I was wrong and under the house he went.
There was nothing I could do so I went home and set a ten-minute timer. I have ADD and its hard for me to stay focused on a task if I have distractions so I worried that I would forget about him. It happened a week ago when Chris ran out the door as I was bringing laundry out. I decided to let him eat grass while I put the clothes in the washing machine. Unfortunately, my thoughts went from Chris to the laundry and never returned to Chris like they would for a person with a normal brain. I think it was a half-hour later, or more, when I went out to check the laundry and saw Chris lying there. That was scarry thinking about what might have happened because of my irresponsibility.
After ten minutes I looked for Frankie with no luck. I continued to look for him every ten or fifteen minutes for about an hour and then drove around the neighborhood looking for him but saw no sign of him. We got our other two boys microchipped recently and we were planning on having Frankie microchipped next but I cursed myself for not having him done first.
Rose returned about an hour and a half after she left and she drove around looking too before coming home. After a little while I decided to drive around again. It was around 6:45 and the sun was getting low. I didn’t want to be out looking for him at night.
Before getting in the car I stepped out onto the front sidewalk to scan the area. There was a woman to the left walking her dog and beyond the woman coming towards us on the sidewalk was a small gold figure. I focused my eyes and saw it was Frankie. What a relief.
I walked that way and stopped to pay attention to the small dog that was interested in me and told the lady about my bad cat. She turned to see him coming and I walked a few more paces and then scooped him up. She was happy, I was happy, and I think Frankie was happy to be home.
Once inside Chris and Floki had a smell fest and conducted a debriefing.
I have been very busy lately and have not photographed our cats too much so I thought I would go to the archives again. This was taken exactly ten years ago on October 2, 2010. I was volunteering for a shelter called Sav-R-Cats and was there photographing cats for Petfinder. While I was doing that, the shelter manager opened the refrigerator and this fellow climbed inside.
Here is a picture of Floki taken four years ago today in 2016. You can see his brown coloring hasn’t fully come in yet. One of the things I love about my wife is that she is silly, like a young child. When Floki started getting darker she would say to him something like, “Oh Floki, you’re so handsome. I love all your brown spots.”
As a bonus, here is a video of Chris taken on this day in 2010.
I stupidly turned the camera off just before he fell over.
I thought this photo would be a good one to caption.
I did not include this one in my recent post about Frisky Cat Café in St. Augustine because I thought it was good enough to stand on its own. I came up with several ideas for a caption but settled on the simplest one. Just for fun, write a caption for this photo and then look here to see what I came up with.