Frankie ran out the door last week when I opened it for the UPS guy. At first he stayed close and dared me to catch him. He even stuck his tongue out at me as if he thought he couldn’t be caught. He was right.
I put my phone away and casually walked towared Frankie but he darted off and dissapeared. I decided to wait for him outside so I let Chris out and the two of us waited together.
Since it was hot outside we only lasted about fifteen minutes. I then brought Chris in and walked around looking for Frankie with no luck. I gave up after thirty minutes had gone by. Ten minutes after that Frankie was outside the door panting and wanting to come in.
Father’s Day definitely did not start out good. The evening before was not so great either. That started with my wife, Rose, complaining about a smell in the kitchen. I smelled nothing but I have the nose of a mere human. Rose, on the other hand, was the subject of a secret government experiment where her nose was genetically altered to that of a blood hound’s nose. She can smell a fly fart two houses down.
She did a thorough search of the kitchen but couldn’t find the source of the smell. We then went outside and she said “It smells worse out here!” There happened to be a bag of cat poop that I put outside the door but hadn’t yet put in the trash so we assumed it was that.
About this same time we were preparing dinner because Rose’s sister and here family were in town and coming to our house for dinner. That’s when we noticed the water was backing up in the sink. I had no Draino or sink plunger or time to go get one. The water drained out slowly and we were able to get through dinner but I had to wash dishes a few at a time.
Before I did anything else Sunday morning I decided to take off the P-trap and clean it. Unfortunately, the P-trap only unscrewed from one end. The other end was glued. It was hard but I managed to get the one side to separate from the other.
I was about to go to Home Depot to get an auger but Rose starting complaining loudly about how horrific it smelled in the house and I needed to look under the house to see what died. At that time, my human nose was starting to smell something. It was faint but it was there.
I found my flashlight but of course the batteries were dead. It needed three batteries and I managed to find two. Wonderful. “What else could go wrong?” I did manage to steal a battery from one of Rose’s beauty instruments, and went outside to see what I could see. I didn’t see anything but there were flies so I knew something had died under the house.
I went to Home Depot and got an auger and ran it through the p-trap but there was no obstruction. I then ran it down the main line as far as it would go but found nothing. At around this time, I don’t remember exactly when, Frankie escaped. I didn’t pursue him but worked on the drain for awhile hoping he would return but after a half hour he still wasn’t back.
I took another look under the house and that is when I found it. It was difficult to see and considering how close to the edge it was I was surprised I missed it. I couldn’t tell what kind of animal it was but I feared it was a cat because it had what looked like a cat’s paw.
Rose said, “You’ve got to get that out of there. I can’t take the smell for another day.”
“I know,” I said, “but it’s just too gross.” It wasn’t just the smell, it was the flies too. And if it was a cat I would be very sad to see that.
I needed to go back to Home Depot to get masks and gloves and a heavy duty drain cleaner but I didn’t want to leave before I found Frankie so I decided to go out looking. By then it was close to 11:00 and it was already hot and humid. I had walked around a little already but now I got my bike out and peddled around the neighborhood. After twenty minutes I gave up and came home.
When I got home I grabbed a can of flying insect killer and sprayed around the area where the dead animal was, which happened to be next to the air conditioner. That was probably how the smell was getting into the house. When I walked back around to the other side of the house I saw Frankie on top of Rose’s car. He meowed at me as if to say, “Where have you been?”
Now that Frankie was home I headed back to home depot. When I returned Rose and I put on masks and gloves like we were part of a hazmat team. I have a grabber tool so I brought that and a shovel to the other side of the house. I removed the bricks and used the grabber to pull out the animal which was a tabby cat. So sad. That is not something I ever want to do again.
It is now almost 4:00. My son is coming over around 6:00 but the drain cleaner didn’t work and our sink is no longer draining slow. It is not draining at all and both sides now have two inches of dirty water. We were going to cook dinner but now we need to make other plans. I did not really want to fight the crowds at a restaurant on Father’s day but we have no choice.
Here’s hoping all the Dad’s out there are having a better day.
Update: We ended up ordering takeout. My son came over and we ate pizza and watched a movie. The day certainly ended better than it started.
The other day my Echo device was flashing yellow which means I have a notification. I said “Alexa, what’s my notification?”
She said, “One new notification for Rosemarie. Your package with Google Home has arrived.”
Google Home? That’s weird. I couldn’t imagine my wife ordering Google Home. I was also pretty sure Amazon didn’t sell Google products. Nevertheless, I opened the door to see if there was a package outside.
There was no package but when I opened the door, Frankie ran outside. I went out after him and tried to catch him but he ran and hid under a nearby car. I had no shoes on and decided to go in the house and watch him from the window. He usually gets bored after a while and comes home.
I may have mentioned it before but I have ADD and I am easily distracted. Soon another thought entered my head and I forgot about Frankie. 45 minutes went by and I looked at the clock and noticed it was time to feed the cats and got up to do that. When I didn’t see Frankie I remembered he was still outside and quickly went to the door to see if I could see him.
When I opened it I immediately saw Frankie’s head pop up from under the door as he walked inside, scolding me with his meows the whole time.
I don’t know what went wrong with Alexa that day but perhaps I can use her next time Frankie gets out. “Alexa, remind me Frankie’s outside in ten minutes.”
I was working at my computer the other day, which happens to be in our Florida room, when I noticed that Frankie was excited and interested in something just outside the window. I got up to see what he was looking at and there was the face of a gold cat just inches from Frankie’s face. My first thought was, “Wow, we have another stray in the neighborhood” but it was only a second later that I noticed that the “stray” was Chris.
I opened the door to let him in, of course, but was left wondering how he got out. I checked the catio door and it was shut and no screens were ripped. I then noticed that the back door out of the catio was open a crack. That door is only used when I take the trash out and it has a sliding latch that is difficult to engage sometimes. I guess I just didn’t lock it good enough.
I don’t know how long he was outside but I glad he came back. I also think it is funny how he got Frankie’s attention to get back in the house.
Last week I took out the trash which can be a pain sometimes if a cat is outside on the catio. Our garbage cans are outside the back door of the catio and opening that door will cause Chris and Frankie to immediately run toward the door to try to get outside. Sometimes I quickly throw the trash on top of the can and close the door with the intention of putting it in the can later when it is safe. On this day I saw no cats so I thought I had time to open the door and put the trash inside the can. While I was doing that, Chris and Frankie bolted out the door at the same time. I either didn’t see them on the catio or I didn’t fully shut the door to the house.
I ran back inside to put my shoes on and when I returned both cats were still hanging out in the backyard.
Of course, as soon as I tried to pick up Frankie, he was gone. I pursued him and almost caught him when he was distracted by a lizard but he was too quick for me.
I brought Chris inside when I lost track of Frankie and stayed home thinking he would return. After waiting a fairly long time, I went out looking for him. I walked around the area for ten or fifteen minutes and became concerned after not seeing him so I returned home to see if he had showed up there yet.
When I got home Frankie was on the catio. I was puzzled. How did he get back inside? I was pretty sure he couldn’t open the door. That was Chris’s specialty.
I decided that was a mystery that couldn’t be solved until my wife got a text message from our neighbor saying she found Frankie and put him inside. Mystery solved. I just want to know why he let her pick him up and not me.
Chris has always been incredibly good at escaping. At first, it was a real problem, but it eventually became clear that he wasn’t interested in going very far so I stopped worrying when he got out. Frankie escaping, on the other hand, was more of a concern because he is a traveler and I worried that he would get lost or hit by a car or something not so good. Luckily, his escape skills were not as good as Chris’s although he still got out from time to time.
Things have changed recently and Frankie is now better than Chris at busting through the door when I try to come in with groceries or other bags. There are a few reasons for that. One is that Chris has slowed down with age, he is almost 9. Also, his weight has climbed to almost 18 pounds. Frankie has aged too but he is a couple of years younger than Chris and he is still skinny. What has changed the most though is that Frankie has become smarter. He now doesn’t hesitate and sprints out the door as I swing it open and before I can put a bag down to block him.
Sometimes Chris and Frankie work together so while I block one, the other gets out. If that’s not bad enough, the distraction caused by one getting out is enough to let the other one escape. Then I have two cats to retrieve.
Chris stays close and eats grass or rolls around on the driveway so I don’t worry about him. Frankie will also stay close for a short time until he senses me coming and then he is off.
He will find a place to hide like under a car or a bush where he knows I can’t catch him.
Sometimes he goes under our house or a neighbor’s house.
I hate when he does that because it is impossible to coax him out and I believe it is where he sometimes picks up fleas. Also, our neighborhood has many rabbits that hide out under homes and Frankie has already shown himself to be a rabbit hunter.
The good news is that Frankie knows he has a good home and he will come back if left alone. Yesterday I was at Lowes buying something for the catio we will soon have built. I called my wife to ask if she would take a picture of the outside of the home and send it to me. When she did she also texted that Frankie got out.
It took me about a half hour to get home and when I did Frankie was on top of my wife’s car. When he saw my car he got very excited and was talking up a storm. I opened the door and he went right in with Chris at the door waiting for him.
Rose said she forgot about him being outside. That is the dangerous thing about waiting for him to come back. We could forget he is out there. Indeed, he got out earlier that morning and I forgot he was out there. It was relatively cold so when Rose reminded me I opened the door and he was right there waiting.
He escaped Tuesday morning as I was leaving for work and I didn’t even know he got out until I saw him running away after I closed the door. I could have just as easily looked the other direction and left for work with him outside. The funny thing was, he let me catch him relatively quickly but I forgot I had locked the door and my key was in the wrong pocket. As I struggled to get the key out of my pocket, Frankie jumped down and I was stuck waiting for him for fifteen minutes.
At least when the screened catio is built this won’t be as much of an issue. Does ay one else struggle with pets who like to escape?
This story happened on Monday of last week and involves three bad cats.
My wife, Rose, recently developed wrist pain and she sometimes wakes up and can’t go back to sleep because of it. On this day she got up at about 3:15 in the morning. As I was trying to go back to sleep I heard her open the outside door to throw something out and then I heard her yell at Frankie. She then announced, “Frankie got out.”
That morning happened to be the coldest this season and I was tired and I didn’t want to get up at 3:15 in the morning to chase Frankie around the neighborhood. I knew he would come back so I tried to go back to sleep but him being outside bothered me so I eventually dragged myself out of bed, put on some warm clothes and a jacket, and went out to look for him.
The Jacket I had on was a Florida jacket and didn’t come close to fulfilling its job of keeping me warm. I walked around the area for 15 minutes looking for Frankie but eventually got too cold and had to go home.
I decided to go back to bed because I was very tired but now Chris and Puck were on the bed. I just left them there and got into bed.
Everything was fine for a short time and I almost fell asleep but then Chris started bothering me. He positioned himself next to my face and started licking and biting my nose. When I turned my head away, he started digging his claws into my neck and the back of my head. I tried pushing him away but he kept coming back. Eventually, Rose heard what was going on and came in to help. She removed all the cats from the bedroom and closed the door so I could go back to sleep.
After a little while of trying to go back to sleep, I heard the door open and I heard Rose say, “Come inside you bad boy.” Frankie was back. That made me feel better but I had another problem.
Just before or just after Frankie came back, I don’t remember, I felt Puck get on the bed. Appearently, Rose did not remove all the cats from the bedroom. That concerned me a little because the last time he was trapped in the bedroom he peed on the bed and on me. I tried to put that thought out of my mind but before too much time passed I felt a very warm feeling against my leg. He did it again! He peed on the bed! And he peed on me!
That woke me up fast. I got out of bed and gathered up all the sheets and threw them outside to be washed. Then I got in the shower before I did anything else.
Fortunately, we had a mattress cover on the bed which protected our mattress and our expensive foam mattress pad. I replaced the sheets and blanket with a new set and I put the other ones in the wash.
Washing clothes in our house is a step-by-step process. I might put a load in the washing machine in the morning before I go to work and then put it in the dryer when I get home. We have a high-efficiency washer and dryer but the dryer is not very efficient. Even at the driest setting it never dries on the first try. Since the machines are outside, I never hear the buzzer when they’re done so I always have to remember, which is something I am not good at. Sometimes it will take a full day or more to wash, dry and remove clothes from the dryer. Eventually, I got everything out and folded but decided to wait until we changed the sheets, which we always do on Saturday morning, before putting the mattress cover back on. Bad decision.
Friday morning Rose got up to use the bathroom and all the cats busted through the door when she opened it. This time it was a more reasonable hour. It was almost time to get up anyway. Chris and Puck jumped on the bed like they usually do while I waited for Rose to get out of the bathroom.
When I got up and walked towards the bathroom I touched the foot of the bed for some reason and noticed it was wet. Puck peed on it again! I couldn’t believe it. He was only in our room for two minutes. This time there was no cover to protect the bed.
I pulled the sheets up and I pulled up the mattress pad and noticed some of the pee had gone down through four inches of foam into the mattress. I was able to save the mattress with some urine eliminator but the mattress pad was a goner.
The rest of the story is only appropriate for an R-rated blog.
Saturday afternoon I took Frankie for his weekend walk. We walked across the street and up three houses. Frankie did his usual plant sniffing while I waited in the hot sun. Even though it was close to evening, it was still fairly hot.
When he was done smelling everything he led me behind the house where the edge of the community meets the fence that separates us from the power lines. We stood under a tree while Frankie did more investigating with his nose.
Suddenly I heard a crackling noise that was followed by a bright flash and almost instantaneously came the very loud bang of thunder. For about two seconds both Frankie and I were frozen in shock, especially since I didn’t even notice a dark cloud until after it happened. I didn’t see exactly where the lightning struck but it was very close and I became aware right away that we were standing under a tree. My first thought was to scoop Frankie up and get out of there but before I could move, Frankie ran and jerked the leash out of my hand.
He ran straight home and hid under my car while panting heavily. I tried to talk him out but he wasn’t budging. Finally, I decided to take his picture and pulled out my phone. That is when he exited on the other side of the vehicle.
I didn’t get the picture but this is a picture from the past that shows what he looked like under my car.
Once he got out from under my car he went for the back door and waited for me to open it. That was something he rarely does.
Once inside, Chris was relentless with his begging to go out. He knows he goes out after Frankie and he would not let me forget it. After a short time, I decided it was safe and let Chris out.
He was so happy to be out, no matter what the danger.
Last week I took Frankie for a walk and he dropped down and started rolling in the dirt. I assumed he was taking a dust bath and thought it was cute so I pulled out my phone and snapped a picture. Shortly after he stood up I noticed his entire harness was around his waist and he was seconds away from escaping, so I grabbed him and fixed his harness before continuing our walk.
It wasn’t until later, when I looked at the photo, that I realized he was doing his Frankie Houdini act for me.