The day after my post about Frankie’s notoriety for being an escape artist was published, he escaped again. Monday morning, as my wife was about to leave for work, she realized it was cool outside and popped her head in the door and asked me to get her jacket. I did not see Frankie anywhere near the door so I handed the jacket out to her but at the same time Frankie ran out the door.
He disappeared for quite awhile. I started by setting a timer for ten minutes. When it went off I would go outside to see if I could see him. I would then come back into the house and set the timer for another ten minutes. Fortunately I was working from home on Monday because it was about an hour or so before Frankie showed up with a dirty, red nose.
I don’t know what happened but I tried to clean the blood off his nose but he would not let me. It must have hurt him. I had to settle for dabbing a little bit of antibacterial cream on it.
I thought getting hurt outside would dampen his desire to get out for awhile but that was not the case. We were going out for dinner with my mother that same day and Frankie got out again. Since we had reservations we couldn’t wait for Frankie to come home on his schedule so I asked my wife to help round him up.
He led us on quite a chase and I hurt my finger trying to grab him. I missed him but caught a brick wall. We finally caught up to him when he hid under a pickup truck. I have been hesitant in the past to pull him out from under vehicals because he cut me pretty bad the first time I tried that but this time I was done playing his game and reached under the truck, grabbed him by the scruff and pulled him out.
I think he knew he was in trouble because he did not resist when I pulled him out and he did not try to jump out of my arms the entire walk home. Normally, if I pick him up during our walks he gives me a very hard time.
Hopefully he will think twice about hiding under cars next time he gets out.
Frankie has developed quite the reputation in our neighborhood for being the escape artist cat. He has escaped many times lately and people are beginning to notice.
The other day, my wife was outside when the mailman came and he asked her, “Are you looking for Frankie again?” She told me the mailman helped her catch Frankie one day. She also said the UPS driver knocks on the door when delivering a package and says “Watch out for Frankie!” when she opens the door.
Frankie escaped last week and disappeared for an hour and a half. I searched the area for him three times without success. On one of those searches, my next door neighbor saw me and asked, “Did Frankie get out again?”
He escaped on Thanksgiving when company arrived. He waited across the street until I got close enough and then bolted across the field like a cheetah until he reached the neighborhood sales office. There he hopped up onto a tree just low enough for me to grab him and carry him home.
My mother is in town so we decided to go out to breakfast with her yesterday, among other things, but Frankie slipped out and disappeared. We waited for him for a while and then ended up eating breakfast at home. He did come back once and I let Chris out hoping that would distract him enough for me to catch him. It didn’t. He again disappeared for about 45 minutes. When he finally returned he walked in the house when I opened the door like nothing had happened.
Frankie reminds me a lot of Chris in his heyday. The main difference is Chris almost always stayed close to home while Frankie goes off to who knows where. My biggest concerns are people that drive like idiots and coyotes. I keep hoping he will slow down like Chris did but there are no signs of that.
All of our cats have two or three favorite spots to nap. One of Frankie’s favorite spots is in front of the television. He only blocks a small part of the picture but his presence is a distraction because he tends to draw the eyes toward him and away from the television.
Did you notice the scratches? I wonder who did that.
Last Thursday was Chris’s tenth gotcha day but instead of a big celebration we spent three hours at the vet where the doctor suggested a surgery that would make Chris deaf.
The day started out normal enough. I had made an appointment for 9:45 at a vet that Chris’s vet recommended to do surgery to remove ear polyps. Those ear polyps had been an issue since we adopted Chris but they were benign and not really a problem until recently. That is when they got bad enough to cause infections in both ears, especially the left.
His vet gave him medication for it but after a while the problem didn’t go away so he recommended surgery to remove the polyps. At the time he said there was a good chance that they would come back after the surgery. We were close to our trip to Germany so we put it off until we came back but then the vet said that there were too many polyps or they were too deep. I can’t remember the exact reason but he said it was too complex for his office so he recommended a couple of other vets that could do it. So I made an appointment at a place near me called Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists.
I brought Chris’s carrier into the house and he avoided it like the plague. Normally Chris would be the first one to get inside a carrier after I bring it in the house but times have changed. Chris rarely went to the vet during his first eight years with us so a carrier was an interesting distraction but now it is not so interesting for him. Once inside the carrier he was pretty quiet, like he accepted his fate.
When we arrived at the vet’s office we sat in the waiting room with many dogs and no other cats. They then put us in an exam room where Chris would not come out of his carrier. That is different behavior for Chris that started the last time or two that he went to the vet’s office. Before that, his vet visits were usually just for a vaccination or something like that and Chris was like Dora the explorer when I opened his carrier.
When the vet tech finally got him out she put him on the scale with my help. He was 9.27 kilograms, which I had to convert to 20.5 pounds. That was troubling because his last vet visit he was around 19 pounds, maybe slightly over that. The visit before that he was around 18 pounds. I hoped the extra weight was because of the free feeding while we were on vacation and not a trend.
When the vet saw Chris she asked a few questions about his health, one was about his breathing. I told her that he breaths very fast and very loud sometimes but he always had. He usually does that when he is on someone’s lap and is happy but his breathing will slow down when he is relaxed. She said she asked because the polyps could develop all the way down the ear canal and into the nasal cavity. She then recommended a surgery that would remove the ear canal.
“Wouldn’t that make him deaf? I said.
“Yes,” she said, “but he is probably mostly deaf already.” She said he would still feel vibrations and acted like it wasn’t a big deal but I felt that it was a very big deal. You don’t take someone’s hearing away like you are removing a wisdom tooth.
I said, “He’s not almost deaf. He could be sleeping on the other side of the house and show up at the food bowl as soon as I put food in it.” I told her I would consider that surgery for his left ear, the worst one, but I would not make him completely deaf.
At that point she said she would discuss it with the dermatologist but he was busy so we waited. Chris waited under my chair and did not go exploring like he used to.
Eventually they took Chris in the back and collected samples and then we waited for those samples to be analized. At first we waited in the exam room but they needed the room so we went back out into the waiting room to be with the dogs. By this time a couple of cats had joined the party.
I was pleasantly surprised that Chris was quiet and relaxed and taking his captivity pretty well.
After being there for three hours they finally found out exactly what bacteria was infecting his ears and gave me a two week supply of medication that they compounded to put in his ears. After that they will reexamine him and we will go from there.
I do foresee one little problem already. I accidently tipped over his medication and I don’t know how much spilled out. Oops.
It is hard to believe that Chris has been with us now for ten years. He is not as much of a “bad” cat now as he was in his youth but he is still a huge PITA sometimes. Now, for example, he is on my lap as I write this and is clawing at my face and chest trying to get me to pay more attention to him.
I decided to keep this post simple today since I have already made a big deal about many of his other gotcha days. This time I thought I would just find an early photo of Chris that I have not already posted on this blog. The photo below was of Chris and Tigger taken on December 3, 2009, less than three weeks after we adopted him.
If you haven’t read it yet, the following two posts talk about Chris’s adoption.
I don’t know what people technically consider to be “cat grass” but for the purposes of this post I would say any grass a cat eats is cat grass. It is not easy photographing a cat eating grass because they move too much but I think I captured Frankie going for a bite pretty well here.
A bookcase is too much for a cat to resist. I realized long ago that putting stuff on every shelf just guaranteed that something would be knocked off. Instead, I leave one shelf empty just for the cats.
Here, Floki is enjoying some alone time but I have seen all of our cats up there at one time or another.