Tag Archives: escape

The Not-So-Great Escape


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.

Advertisements

Another Frankie Adventure and Mystery


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.

two cats outside

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.

The Game of Escape Has a New Leader


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.

cats outside

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.

cat outside

He will find a place to hide like under a car or a bush where he knows I can’t catch him.

cat outside

Sometimes he goes under our house or a neighbor’s house.

cat outside under home

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?

 

Morning Mayhem


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.

Lightning Crashes, Frankie Gets Loose


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.

Cat Frankie

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.

Our cat Frankie under a 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.

Photo Friday: Frankie Houdini


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.

cat escaping harness

Tag Team Cat Escapes


I have reached a point where I hate entering and leaving my house because Chris and Frankie are always at the door waiting to run out.

Frankie escaped over the weekend and led me on a wild cat chase. Eventually he ended up under the car next door where he knows I can’t catch him. Whenever he goes under a car or a house I just have to wait him out, which I did.

cat under car

I sat on my front steps for about ten minutes and, surprisingly, he came out from under the car and started meowing at me. I called to him and he walked up to the edge of the steps.

Since there was a railing between us I decided it would be safer to not try to grab him. Instead, I stood up, put my hand on the door and opened it when it looked like he was ready to come in. He hesitated for two second and then, as he was preparing to jump, Chris ran up to the door and scared him off. I think he ran out the door but I don’t remember. In any case, Frankie was in the wind again and it took some time before I was able to retrieve him.

On Monday morning my wife had to leave early for a business trip. At 7 a.m. I helped bring her luggage out to the car. As I was going out, Chris appeared out of nowhere and ran out the door. I rarely swear but I must have sounded like a Boston Truck Driver that morning. It was a minor incident, since Chris is easy to catch, but the frustration of not being able to come and go out of my own house reached a boiling point.

I put the luggage down and picked up Chris. I opened the door to put him inside and Frankie ran out. More swearing. Now my wife has to leave for her trip and I have to hunt down Frankie.

I lost track of him so I finished helping Rose with her luggage. She then left and I spent the next ten or fifteen minutes looking for Frankie. I had never seen him disappear for so long and I started to worry about him. If Rose was home I would have asked for help. I walked around until my shoes were saturated from the cold, wet grass. It was then that I spotted him behind our house. Of course, he wasn’t ready to come in yet.

Now we played a game of cat and human until he tired and was ready to come home. He actually came up our driveway to the back door. I opened it and he walked right in. This time Chris was not there to spoil it.

To Catch a Cat


Frankie escaped three times last weekend by using a trick that Chris figured out years ago; He no longer hesitates when the door opens. As soon as the door cracks open, out he goes. Once out, he is nearly impossible to catch. I have to wait until he wears himself out before I can catch him.

The following video was compiled from two separate escapes, Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

It is very similar to what Chris used to do four years ago.

In other news, we could not get Chris a vet appointment until late Tuesday. I am concerned because when we got home today I noticed that both of his eyes are compleatly dilated. I called the vet back but they had closed by then. I did leave a message that I was concerned and asked if they could squeeze him in on Monday. I will be at work so Rose will have to bring him.

The Outdoor Adventures of Two Bad Cats


Frankie was being very vocal on Saturday about wanting to go outside so I decided to take him for a walk. Rose took out the cat harness and leash and said things like “Oh boy Frankie, you’re gonna go outside!” That got him all riled up but I wasn’t ready yet. I still had to find my shoes and put them on, which surely was an excruciatingly long time for Frankie.

When I finally got his harness on and opened the door, Chris bolted out the door after Frankie. I expected him to try that but I was still unable to stop him. That made walking Frankie more difficult because now I had to keep an eye on Chris too. He won’t run away like Frankie does but Chris will wander off after a little while.

Cats Chris and Frankie

Cats Chris and Frankie

I tried keeping Frankie close to home so I could monitor Chris.

20160813_170158 Frankie

When he would walk too far away I had to pick him up, or pretend to try to pick him up, to get him going back toward home.

It wasn’t too long before Chris made it out to the front of the house, near the street. It is a relatively quiet street but I don’t trust all the old drivers around here.

20160813_170604 Frankie and Chris

20160813_170747 Frankie and Chris20160813_170746 Frankie and Chris

Before long, Chris made his way to the neighbor’s driveway, which forced me to put Frankie in the house so I could retrieve Chris before he got himself into trouble.

The next morning Frankie was even more vocal about wanting to go outside. The back door is right next to the bathroom where Rose was getting ready and Frankie was really annoying her so Rose asked me to take Frankie out again.

This time, with Rose’s help,  we made it outside without Chris.

20160814_090522_1Frankie

Frankie spends about ten minutes in our back yard just eating grass, smelling the air, and looking around.

cat Frankie

20160814_090718 Frankie

We eventually got moving and Frankie led me a long way from home. Along the way we stopped to admire a couple of doves in our path. 20160814_093230 Frankie

Frankie was probably thinking about an early lunch but they flew away.

After a half hour outside it was starting to feel hot so I “encouraged” Frankie to head toward home. After a while my encouragements weren’t working so I had to pick him up and carry him home.

When I open the door to put him inside, Chris ran out. It wasn’t fair for Chris to be stuck inside while Frankie was out so I let him stay outside while I watched him. Chris is funny because when you talk to him with a scolding voice, he rolls around to show you how cute he is.

“Chris! What are you doing!”

Bad Cat Chris outside

20160814_094557 Chris

While I was watching Chris outside, Rose opened the door to ask me a question and Frankie ran out. Crap! I tried to catch him but failed and he ended up under my truck. I quickly put Chris in the house so I could concentrate on catching Frankie but he proved very elusive.

Eventually he ended up across the street under the neighbors car.

20160814_094714 Frankie

He knows I can’t get him under a car so I just sat on my porch in the hot sun and waited him out. Sometimes he would come out but stayed close so he could run back under the car if I got close. 

I finally gave up and went inside for five minutes. When I came out, Frankie was gone. I searched for him for a few minutes and then went back inside. I thought I would sit in the air conditioning for a little while and watch out the window. That was when Rose spotted him on the street sitting in somebody’s Garden.

I went back outside to retrieve Frankie. This time he games me no trouble and let me pick him up and bring him home.

I think it’s good for our cats to get outside, but it always seems to be a pain in the butt as well.