I came across a video I took of Frankie a couple of months ago after one of his escapes. He was hiding under a car and I was trying to talk him out as it started raining. I wrote about it in a previous post but I must have forgotten I had a video too.
My wife had an appointment to get her nails done yesterday but I was parked behind her so I had to leave with her to move my car. I went out the door first and then Rose followed right behind me. As she was walking out the door Frankie slipped past her and ran outside. I tried to catch him but he ran under a nearby van where he knows I can’t reach him.
Knowing Rose was waiting for me I walked back to my car so I could get it out of her way. As I go close Rose said to me, “You need to be more careful when you walk out the door.” I guess that officially made it my fault.
After I moved my car I went to check on Frankie.
He was rolling around under that van as if to say, “Na na na na na, you can’t catch me!”
I walked back to the house and sat on the steps in the hot sun waiting for him to make his next move. After about ten minutes he walked toward our neighbor’s house and I quietly followed him. I saw him poke his head into a small opening leading under the house and I didn’t want him to go there so I backed off. But then I thought the hole was too small to fit through so I advanced again. I was wrong and under the house he went.
There was nothing I could do so I went home and set a ten-minute timer. I have ADD and its hard for me to stay focused on a task if I have distractions so I worried that I would forget about him. It happened a week ago when Chris ran out the door as I was bringing laundry out. I decided to let him eat grass while I put the clothes in the washing machine. Unfortunately, my thoughts went from Chris to the laundry and never returned to Chris like they would for a person with a normal brain. I think it was a half-hour later, or more, when I went out to check the laundry and saw Chris lying there. That was scarry thinking about what might have happened because of my irresponsibility.
After ten minutes I looked for Frankie with no luck. I continued to look for him every ten or fifteen minutes for about an hour and then drove around the neighborhood looking for him but saw no sign of him. We got our other two boys microchipped recently and we were planning on having Frankie microchipped next but I cursed myself for not having him done first.
Rose returned about an hour and a half after she left and she drove around looking too before coming home. After a little while I decided to drive around again. It was around 6:45 and the sun was getting low. I didn’t want to be out looking for him at night.
Before getting in the car I stepped out onto the front sidewalk to scan the area. There was a woman to the left walking her dog and beyond the woman coming towards us on the sidewalk was a small gold figure. I focused my eyes and saw it was Frankie. What a relief.
I walked that way and stopped to pay attention to the small dog that was interested in me and told the lady about my bad cat. She turned to see him coming and I walked a few more paces and then scooped him up. She was happy, I was happy, and I think Frankie was happy to be home.
Once inside Chris and Floki had a smell fest and conducted a debriefing.
We are having our house painted and, of course, when the painter arrived this morning to pressure wash, Frankie ran out the door. I put my shoes on and went out to look for him as soon as I was done talking to the painter. I found him ten or fifteen minutes later in front of the neighbors house but he went under their car when I approached. Since the car was relatively tall and since he was not very far under it I decided to try to grab him. I reached under the car and got the scruff of his neck and dragged him out. He didn’t resist as I picked him up and carried him to our house.
He didn’t resist at first but by then the painter was pressure washing the house. The pressure washer was running to the left of the door and the guy was spraying to the right of the door. Frankie was not happy about going through the middle of that and made every effort to get away. I held tight, despite the pain, and quickly opened the door and let him jump to safety inside.
Ten minutes later Floki was hiding under our bed and Frankie was on the bed paying very close attention to the noises outside. Chris then joined Frankie on the bed and promptly fell asleep while Frankie kept his ears and eyes on where the noise was coming from.
It seems Chris has almost no fear or anxiety except maybe when his food bowl is empty.
I opened the door yesterday afternoon thinking Frankie was in another room but I was wrong and he slipped past me and out the door. It was about 3:15 p.m. I tried to catch him but he ran under the neighbor’s car so I left him there and returned home. I figured he would come back. I had recently bought butternut squash seeds and those little cardboard pots called seed starters so while I was waiting I busied myself filling those pots and planting the seeds.
Frankie didn’t come back and after a while, I started getting worried about him so I walked around looking for him but saw no sign of him. After about a half-hour he came back to taunt me and then disappeared again.
I stayed outside for a while waiting for him to come back but he did not. Normally he comes back and lets me catch him within the first hour so I was starting to become concerned. I walked around looking for him and then got in my car and drove around the neighborhood but saw no sign of him. I let some time pass and then I drove around the neighborhood again, still with no luck. By this time we had dinner in the oven and Rose and I were both very concerned. I had an upset stomach from worry.
At around 6 p.m. Rose shut the oven off and we drove around the neighborhood together. We drove for probably about a half an hour or so. Several times we drove past our home hoping we would see him there waiting but we didn’t.
I had fed the cats earlier and there was still some wet food left when we got back. I scooped one of the plates into the trash but Rose suggested putting the other one outside, which I did. About ten minutes later I looked out the window and saw Frankie on top of Rose’s car. It was 6:45, three and a half hours after he got out. I was very relieved and went out to get him. When I did I noticed the food had been eaten.
I have wanted to get Frankie microchipped for a long time but put it off until he was at the vet for another reason. Unfortunately, he had not been at the vet for another reason for a long time so it never happened. Now I think it’s time to get him micro-chipped but I’m not sure if vets are doing non-emergency procedures. I noticed the SPCA stopped fixing the animals in their care so the gloves and masks could be saved for emergencies.
Frankie escaped yesterday again which has become highly annoying, especially since I just took him for a walk the day before. It happened as I was leaving to go to the store so I couldn’t leave until I got him back in the house.
The first thing he did when I tried to catch him was run across the street and under a vehicle that was parked there. I tried, unsuccessfully, to coax him out, or at least get him close enough to pull him out, but he is too smart for that.
After a while he became distracted with a lizard, which he caught and headed for home with it. I thought he wanted to bring it in the house but he went under my car with it instead.
Cats like to play with their prey so he let it go and recaptured it a couple of times before the lizard came out from under the car enough for me to catch it. I then moved it back a foot or two and let it go. I was hoping Frankie would come out to get it but both stayed motionless. That is when I gave the lizard a little push to get him moving which also got Frankie moving. He ran out from under the car into my waiting arms.
Now that, my friends, is how you catch a cat.
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.
Frankie escaped again early yesterday morning and did what he always does to keep from getting caught. He headed toward a car,
He knows that if he is near a car, he can duck under it if I come too close.
If there are other cars nearby he can go from car to car with little risk of getting caught.
I decided to just wait him out at home so I let Chris out to wait with me.
I still have to watch Chris but I don’t worry about him because he mostly likes to hang out near the house and eat grass or just chill.
That wasn’t always the case. Chris, after all, invented the hide-under-the-car-technique. Some of you may remember his younger days.
After a short time Frankie returned.
Unfortunately, as soon as I took this photo and put my phone away to catch him, he bolted and hid under a car again.
I put Chris in the house and went inside to wait for him. After a little while. while I was cleaning the litter boxes, I looked out the window and saw him out from under the car and very interested in a nearby tree. Then he jumped into the tree.
I hurried outside hoping I could catch him before he went too hign in the tree.
I couldn’t reach him good enough and forced him higher into the tree.
I went to my shed and found a grabber tool which was the longest thing I could find quickly and returned to the tree. I was barely able to reach Frankie with it and managed to turn him around and forced him out of the tree but he ran several houses away and under another car so I gave up, went home and waited.
He finally came home after being outside for over an hour and then settled into a nice morning nap with Chris and Floki.
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.