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.
When I started my shift last Friday at the SPCA, I noticed there were over 25 kittens there. That was the most that I have seen at one time. I took several photos but the kittens were very busy so it was hard to get a good shot. Fortunatly, these two were resting at the right time.
Everybody loves kittens so I am sure they have been adopted by now. It is the older cats that I worry about. Some have been there for too long and need a home.
Chris’s addiction to kibble has always been a real problem. I have not eliminated kibble because he eats very little wet food, even when faced with starvation. Instead, I buy the highest quality kibble that I know of, a brand called Rawz, and try to keep it to a minimum. I have also been giving them homemade raw cat food twice a day that I make using chicken and a premix from a company called TC Feline.
The problem has always been getting Chris to eat the homemade food, or any wet food. I usually give him about half of what I give Frankie and Flokie, who both love the homemade food, but typically he only eats about half of what I give him before one of the other cats come and take it away from him. Sometimes he leaves his food before anyone shows up and I have to follow him around with his plate. I might also put some on my finger and feed it to him like a baby. That usually works once or twice before he turns his head and refuses to look at my finger.
Not long after I feed them, Chris is hungry and wants dry food but the bowls are empty, so he lies down next to the bowls and talks to anyone that will listen.
My wife and I joke that he is “holding vigil at the food bowl.” When this doesn’t work he comes and annoys me in hopes that I will give up and put food in his bowl. Sometimes it works.
Lately he has been eating even less of the homemade food. Sometimes he wouldn’t take even one bite. I did not want to stop giving them the homemade food because it is the healthiest option and Frankie and Floki love it, but I did want Chris to eat something besides kibble, so I decided to split the difference. I decided to give them a can of food in the morning and the homemade food in the afternoon.
Since Chris is also picky about canned food I decided to go back to a food I found after much experimentation years ago that seems to satisfy everyone. It is a food from Earthborn Holistic called Chicken Catcciatori. This is the most universally accepted canned food I have found that is also somewhat healthy. While it is not as healthy as homemade, it is better than kibble.
Please note that the above link and that of the Rawz food are Amazon affiliate links. I included them because there is a lot of information about the products on Amazon but I would recommend that if you are interested, check your local pet supply store first because both products are overly pricey on Amazon.
It has been over a week and I can report that Chris is eating a fair amount of the canned food. Not as much as I would like but much more than he was eating before. He is even eating slightly more of the homemade food. Perhaps he just needed the variety.