Here is my sister-in-law’s cat, Holly, from ten years ago today. Holly was the original bad cat and my wife and I loved watching her antics. Being naughty can be quite entertaining. Before adopting Chris we would joke that we wanted to take her home but we knew that Felice would never part with her.
Chris was like a male version of Holly, perhaps even a little more naughty, but Chris eventually became overweight and his naughtiness died down a bit while Holly is about fifteen now and can still hold her own in the bad cat category.
Our house is relatively free of bugs partly because we have cats. Chris used to be a great bug catcher but now the duty is performed quite well by Floki. Here he is waiting patiently for a moth to make a mistake.
I don’t think he got the moth that time but I didn’t see it after that so he probably got it after we went to bed. Does anyone else have good bug hunters living with you?
Frankie is like the child who keeps his parents on edge by constantly participating in risky or foolish behavior. This time it happened Thursday evening while I was in the kitchen.
I had a pot of corn-on-the-cob boiling on the stove when Frankie suddenly developed the zoomies. He came barreling into the kitchen, jumped on the small ledge between the stove and the refrigerator, pushed the pot over several inches, and then quickly jumped down.
I took the photo below a short time later. The stove was off when the picture was taken but imagine a red hot burner and think of where Frankie’s right paw might have landed for him to hit the pot hard enough to push it across half the burner.
I, of course, feared that he might have seriously burned his paw so I quickly picked him up and held him so my wife could examine it. She saw nothing wrong. Nevertheless, I watched him for a while but he did not seem bothered by it so I decided he got off lucky this time.
My real concern is what is he going to do next to scare us? How am I ever going to cook again without worrying about where Frankie is and what he is doing? Can anyone relate to this?
I have been busy and have not been taking very many pictures lately so I thought I would dig into the archives once again. This time I found a photo from eight years ago today that I did not even know I had. It is Chris in the bathroom helping my wife get ready.
The time stamp on the photo says 5:01 a.m. It surprises me that my wife was getting ready that early and that Chris was already on the job. It’s possible I forgot to “spring ahead” for Daylight Savings Time on my camera.
There is something about this photo that I really like but I am not sure exactly what makes it special. What do you think?
Today Chris turns twelve years old. In cat years, he is a senior, but he is also like a child and sometimes like a baby who needs to be held. Of course, this is just his estimated birthday. When we adopted him he was about six months old so I just subtracted six months from his Gotcha Day and came up with May 14, 2009.
He has been a part of our family for so long that I just don’t know what we would do without him. Sure, he can be incredibly annoying at times but he is also incredibly sweet and affectionate.
He loved people from the first day I saw him and had no trouble seeking attention from strangers, like my wife the first time she visited him at the shelter.
The above photo was taken almost six weeks before we brought Chris home. Can you imagine a cat as special as Chris being overlooked for so long? I was told he was adopted once and brought back the next day because he was too annoying, but I don’t remember if it was before this photo was taken or after.
Of course, he gave us a lot of trouble too, but we persevered. How could we not? He was so funny to watch. The first thing he did was take over as head cat the day he arrived.
He also constantly threw himself on top of the other cats, much to their displeasure.
He still does that today.
Another thing he used to do was get on people shoulders, especially mine.
Other cats would see Chris on my shoulders and they would get on my shoulders too but Chris was a natural at shoulder riding. The other cats always seemed nervous and unstable.
Chris didn’t get his “Bat Cat” moniker for nothing. He gave us plenty of trouble too. It was a constant battle to get him to stop doing things we didn’t want him to do, like get on the counters. All of our cats get on the counters today simply because Chris won the counter wars and we surrendered.
He also started pooping in the tub, at first, and then moved on to pooping outside the boxes. He didn’t always do it but it was enough to where I worried that my wife was going to make me choose her or the cat. I think that went on for four years or more. The solution came on accident when we moved to a smaller home and consolidated our litter boxes in one room, instead of having them spread around the house. It seems if one box was not perfect, he wanted another box right there. He certainly wasn’t going to make the effort to go to another room.
Chris was also good at getting into closets, and still is but he doesn’t care about it as much these days.
This last one was considered for a documentary about cats but didn’t make the final cut, probably because the resolution was not high enough.
Chris was also a champion of getting on top of things that our other cats would not attempt.
Many of those behaviors are in the past, partly because of Chris’s age but I think mostly because of his weight. He is what we affectionately call a “carb addict.” He loves his kibble. I try to not give him too much but he wears me down. He annoys the crap out of me when I am working so I give him a little kibble in order to get some work done. I usually do something else first so he won’t associate annoying me with getting what he wants but he is a smart cat and I doubt I am fooling him.
All in all, we have been very fortunate to have a cat that has really touched our hearts the way Chris has. I sometimes think about those people who returned Chris. They just have no idea what they gave up just so they could get a good night’s sleep.
I work one day a week in South Tampa and sometimes stop at a Walmart near my job. Several weeks ago I was approached by a friendly black cat as I neared the entrance.
I was at that same Walmart again Wednesday morning and saw the same black cat napping at the door. My first thought was that Walmart hired a security cat that was sleeping on the job. I stopped and pet the cat for a minute before going inside.
I did not know if it was a male or female and thought the cat was either well fed or pregnant. After looking closer at the photo, I think one of the ears is tipped meaning the cat is fixed. I don’t know if Walmart or some of the employees had anything to do with fixing the cat or taking care of her, but if they did then kudos to them.
I took Frankie out for a walk on Saturday. Everything went well for the first ten minutes or so. He did the usual. He smelled some plants, rolled in the grass and sat and listened to the birds.
We ended up near our community’s clubhouse about a half block from home when a nearby car’s alarm went off. Frankie didn’t do anything at first, he just seemed concerned. Then, after a few seconds, he started running.
I should note here that anything other than a very gentle tug on the leash will cause Frankie to turn toward me and then back away with as much force as he can muster. This always leads to him slipping out of his harness, which is extremely easy to put on but not secure when Frankie backs up. Because of that I always try to keep pace with Frankie. If he runs, I run. Usually he hears the sound of my footsteps and that freaks him out a bit so he stops and looks around. That is what happened Saturday when he started running.
After he stopped and looked around, the alarm was still going off so he started running again, and again he stopped when he heard me. By then we were far enough away from the car and the alarm may have been stopped, I don’t remember. I just remember that I thought the running was over so I loosened my grip on the leash. Just then he started running and the leash slipped from my hand.
He was heading straight for home and running at full speed. I tried to keep up but couldn’t. I assumed when he reached our house he would wait by the front door until I could open it. He didn’t. Instead I watched him squeeze through a small hole and go under our house.
He has done that before and it is always a concern but this time it was especially scary to me because he was dragging a leash behind him. I had no Idea how far under the house he would go or what, if anything, the leash might get caught on while he was under there.
When I got home I immediately peeked through the hole and saw he was just sitting there, about three or four feet in. I pulled some bricks away to make the hole bigger and tried to talk him out of there but he wasn’t having it. He seemed nervous, which is unusual for Frankie because he pretty much ignores the vacuum cleaner and barely notices when the garbage truck comes by for our trash.
I fed them a short time before we went out but I thought I might entice him out with some tuna that I bought recently for a special treat for them. I went in the house, opened the can and put it on three plates, because Chris and Floki smelled it and were in the kitchen waiting for some. I put two plates down then brought the third plate outside and put it in front of Frankie’s nose but he ignored it and instead was more concerned with what was happening across the street.
I gave him some time and after about five minutes he decided to come out but his right paw was stuck in the harness. Fortunately he was able to move close enough for me to pull him out. During all that excitement, I forgot to take pictures.
After I put him in the house I went back out and got his plate of tuna. He eagerly ate it all. All’s well that ends well, I guess.