My wife is in charge of several apartment communities in Florida, Virginia, and West Virginia. One of the closer ones to our house is about fifty miles away. The manager there told Rose about a friendly stray cat that started hanging around the office. They decided to help the cat by allowing it to come into the office. Rose ordered several supplies for him on Chewy, including a litter box, litter, food, and toys. She visited the property last Wednesday and sent me these photos.
They named the cat “Gato” which is essentially the same as naming him “Cat.” I don’t think Gato cares what he is called, he is just happy to have people to love on him.
He comes and goes during the day, taking advantage of the many people who open the door for him. At night, he stays inside and someone comes to take care of him on the weekend.
One of the maintenance guys from the property came to our house on Saturday to help install two new windows in our house and I give him one of our carriers so they could take him in to be neutered.
From what I hear, he is super friendly so he is probably not feral but was someone’s pet at one time. I have seen this several times before and wonder how they become separated from their humans. I know at apartment complexes people sometimes move out and leave their cats behind. Sometimes they leave them inside an apartment with no food and water. I would like to think humanity is better than that and most strays end up on the streets for innocent reasons.
Okay, maybe Berry is not really a wonder cat but he is quite the love bug. Barry had one eye removed a week ago and the last time I looked he was still available for adoption. If you live in the Tampa Bay area you can’t go wrong with such a loving cat.
Berry is available for adoption at the SPCA in Largo, Florida. Check out their listings for cats here. If he is no longer on the list that means he was probably adopted.
Floki had a vet appointment yesterday morning so we trapped him in the cats’ room and Rose and I worked together to catch him and put him in his carrier. I then put him in the car and drove him to the vet.
When I got to the vet I had to call them so someone could come out to get Floki. They are still not allowing people in the office. I think they are dragging out this pandemic because keeping people out is easier for them. They are not alone. Many businesses have cut customer service because they save money and Covid gives them the perfect excuse. Have you called a large business lately and been told the wait time is forty-five minutes or longer? Most of these people work from home now so there is no excuse.
As far as vets are concerned, I think it is important for people to go into the exam room with their pet. Imagine a parent being forced to wait in the car at the pediatrician’s office. In order to get the full picture of what is going on, you need to be there during the exam. It is also important for your pet to know you are there. Most will be very nervous that a stranger is poking and prodding them and need reassurance from their parent. I may consider changing vets if this continues.
Floki was there for three reasons. First, he needed to get his nails trimmed. It is impossible for us to trim them because he is such a squirmy little bugger but the vet techs can do it. He is good for them for some reason.
Second, he has been having trouble with his ears lately so they cleaned them and informed me he had an infection. They wanted to take a sample to test what kind of infection it was so I agreed. They then gave me a bottle of medicine with instructions to put five drops in each ear every day. Since we can’t even clip his nails, I have no idea how we are going to put medicine in his ears. Chris also has a recurring ear infection and it is hard enough putting drops in his ears, Floki is ten times harder.
Lastly, they checked him for fleas. The last time he got flea medication he was sick for three days. The plan was to give him a kitten dose of another flea medication if he had fleas and no medication if he did not have fleas. Fortunately, he did not have fleas.
After I brought Floki home and let him out of his carrier, Frankie got inside of it.
He went in through the top and I have no idea how he managed to get under the flap.
As I write this on Friday evening we have yet to attempt to put medicine in Floki’s ears. Hopefully, I won’t have to report a few new scars on my next post.
Update: We tried to put the medication in Floki’s ears last night. He was on the dining room table and I held him by the scruff while Rose attempted to put five drops in each ear. She got two drops in one ear before his struggling became too intense and I lost my grip. I grabbed him again and tried to hold him down but he managed to roll over on his side and started to kick with his back feet. I let him go at that point to prevent serious injury. I now worry that a daily struggle like that will cause Floki to stop trusting us.
Today marks twelve years since we adopted Chris. He has been with me longer than any other pet I have ever had and has become such an integral part of this family that I can’t imagine what life would be like without him.
I met Chris while volunteering at a shelter in Myrtle Beach called Save-R-Cats. They were in the local PetSmart on a rotating basis and I went in one morning before work to clean the cages. I let all of the cats out of the top row of cages while I cleaned them. Suddenly, a kitten, about four or five months old, jumped from the floor onto my back and clawed his way up to my shoulders. He then proceeded to nibble on my ear and then on my nose. That kitten, of course, was Chris.
We didn’t adopt him right away. At some point, he was adopted and then returned the next day because of his bad behavior, although I don’t remember when that occurred.
Sometime later my wife came from the shelter and met Chris. That meeting went pretty well.
Still, we didn’t adopt him because we were not ready. We had a cruise coming up and my wife had a business trip to go on after the cruise. While she was on that trip, I went to the shelter and saw that Chris was not only still there, but he also climbed up onto my shoulders again. A shelter worker took a picture of me and Chris with my phone, which had a bad camera even for 2009 standards.
I sent the picture to my wife with the text, “Can we keep him?” I think she agreed but I wanted to wait for her to get home from her trip so we can make the decision together. That way, if Chris turned out to be a bad cat, it wouldn’t be totally my fault.
When Rose returned, we went to the shelter one more time to see Chris before making a decision. Once there, we couldn’t go home without him.
When Chris got to our house he immediately took over to the surprise of our other four cats.
The next few years were pretty difficult as we dealt with problems such as Chris pooping where he shouldn’t, getting on the counters, opening doors he should not be able to open, bothering us while we were sleeping, trying to escape, digging the carpet and I’m sure many other things I can’t think of right now. But during this time we also knew that he was worth it because, besides being a constant source of entertainment, he was probably the most loving being this Earth has ever seen.
While Chris can still be quite annoying, he doesn’t get into as much trouble as he used to. What hasn’t changed is the love. Chris is a shining example of pure love in physical form.
Since my wife is away and since I just clipped Chris’s claws, I decided to let the cats sleep with me Monday night. Of course, that was a mistake. I should have known.
Chris started bothering me sometime before 3 AM. I suppose I should have been grateful that he lasted that long. If I was smart, I would have picked him up and put him out of the bedroom but I was just too tired to get up. He continued bothering me, on and off, (mostly on) until sometime after 5 a.m. when I decided that I had enough and I got out of bed.
I fed them breakfast, made coffee, and did a couple of other things and then went back in the bedroom and saw this.
I guess it was mission accomplished so no longer need to stay awake.
Chris was sitting on my lap yesterday evening when he reached up to stick his claws into my skin like he often does but this time his claws got stuck in my neck and I had to reach over and pull them out. I was highly annoyed, as well as in pain, and I said, “Okay, Chris, enough is enough.” I then picked him up and carried him to the bedroom.
The “enough” I was referring to was me allowing his nails to get so long and sharp. The reason I carried him into the bedroom was because my wife keeps the nail clippers in her nightstand drawer. She clips the cat’s nails about eighty percent of the time but she is away on a business trip so I did it.
Chris was amazingly good for me this time. He did not try to pull his paw away, even when I had trouble seeing some of his nails. After I finished, he made a point of washing his paws.
Last year while fitness centers were still on lockdown, I purchased what is called a Power Tower as a way to work out at home. This one had the added benefit of having a retractable workout bench.
The room was pretty cramped until we brought the chairs to West Virginia. Then I was able to put the bench down so Frankie could use it.
The truth is, like most home workout equipment, it rarely got used. Rarely by me but Frankie loved hanging out on the bench. It was long enough for him to stretch out on and high enough to see what was going on outside. When we started going to the gym again, the bench and tower went from rarely being used to never being used, except by Frankie.
Now that we are back, and with us came a boatload of stuff from the other house, Rose is insisting that I sell it to make room for her new rocking chair that we brought with us. This time I had no defense and posted it for sale. Sorry, Frankie.
My wife called me at work yesterday to tell me that Frankie escaped. She said she had a hair appointment at 4:00 and if he wasn’t back by then she would have to leave him outside. I looked at my watch. It was just after 1:30. If I hurried I might be able to get all of my important work done and get home before she left.
Fortunately, she called me back at 3:00 to tell me that he was back. She said she opened the window on the door a few inches and the put a chair in front of it. Of course, Chris and Floki jumped at the chance to get a good smell out the window.
Rose was hoping to use them as Frankie detectors and it worked. When Frankie showed up Chris started growling and hissing which prompted Rose to get up and let him in
Not long after I got home, I noticed how comfortable Frankie was and wondered why he is always trying to get out.
He should know by now that there’s no place like home.