My wife is in charge of several apartment communities in Florida, Virginia, and West Virginia. One of the closer ones to our house is about fifty miles away. The manager there told Rose about a friendly stray cat that started hanging around the office. They decided to help the cat by allowing it to come into the office. Rose ordered several supplies for him on Chewy, including a litter box, litter, food, and toys. She visited the property last Wednesday and sent me these photos.
They named the cat “Gato” which is essentially the same as naming him “Cat.” I don’t think Gato cares what he is called, he is just happy to have people to love on him.
He comes and goes during the day, taking advantage of the many people who open the door for him. At night, he stays inside and someone comes to take care of him on the weekend.
One of the maintenance guys from the property came to our house on Saturday to help install two new windows in our house and I give him one of our carriers so they could take him in to be neutered.
From what I hear, he is super friendly so he is probably not feral but was someone’s pet at one time. I have seen this several times before and wonder how they become separated from their humans. I know at apartment complexes people sometimes move out and leave their cats behind. Sometimes they leave them inside an apartment with no food and water. I would like to think humanity is better than that and most strays end up on the streets for innocent reasons.
Frankie was being quite the pest yesterday and Rose asked me to put some food down for the cats, but I knew it wasn’t food he was looking for. I put my shoes on and announced that I was going to take Frankie for a walk. As I was heading into the bedroom, Rose was hyping Frankie up by loudly saying, “Are you gonna go outside, Frankie? Are you gonna go outside?” This, of course, got Frankie all excited and he followed me into the bedroom, meowing up a storm. When I pulled the harness out of my drawer, he really got excited.
As soon as Frankie gets outside the excitement goes away and he becomes very focused. After taking time to smell the air we walked across the street and stopped to eat some grass, or whatever this is.
We then found a nice patch of ground to stretch out and get some sun.
Then a little shade was in order.
I stood there for a long time waiting for Frankie to decide what he wanted to do. To my surprise, he fell asleep.
I hated to wake him up but I couldn’t just stand there in the sun and wait for his nap to be over. I knelt down and very gently petted him. That woke him up and he hissed at me and scratched my hand, making it bleed in three places.
I then picked him up and brought him home. He had been out for about forty-five minutes and Chris was home waiting for his turn. Surprisingly, Frankie let me carry him home without giving me a hard time.
When we got home, I let Chris out and stayed with him. He decided to eat some grass as soon as he got outside.
He then spent some time in the sun.
After fifteen minutes I decided that I should go in and wash the cut on my hand. I picked Chris up and he decided to turn around as I was lifting him up. I think he planned on climbing onto my shoulders but he just ended up putting a gash in my stomach. Well, at least I was going in to clean one wound so what’s one more?
I took Frankie out for a walk on Wednesday because it was a beautiful day and because he was bothering me to go outside. It’s hard to resist Frankie when he follows me around the house meowing at me.
Shortly after we got outside the community housing salesperson stopped his golf cart to talk to me. I tried to hold Frankie back but he wanted to go, and you can’t hold a cat back like you can a dog. At least not Frankie, anyway. The harness I have has a flaw in the design that allows a cat to escape if he pulls backwards hard enough. Since the harness is so easy to put on, I don’t want to get rid of it so I just try to avoid those situations.
My plan was to pick up Frankie and hold him but that didn’t work so I thought if I put him on the golf cart seat he might stay for at least a minute or two but that made him even more nervous. It occurred to me later that maybe he thought I was giving him away. Since I couldn’t stand around and talk, I told him I would just talk to him later.
We continued on and when we got up near the pool Frankie decided to do some sunbathing. Perhaps he saw people at the pool doing this.
After a while I had to pick him up and bring him home. As usual, he was not happy about this, but it was Chris’s turn to go out.
Chris spent some time enjoying the sun and then, of course, he had to eat a little grass too. When it was time to go in, he got under my truck again but this time far enough to where I couldn’t reach him to pick him up.
This may seem like a Frankie trick but actually Chris invented this years ago.
Since my wife is away and since I just clipped Chris’s claws, I decided to let the cats sleep with me Monday night. Of course, that was a mistake. I should have known.
Chris started bothering me sometime before 3 AM. I suppose I should have been grateful that he lasted that long. If I was smart, I would have picked him up and put him out of the bedroom but I was just too tired to get up. He continued bothering me, on and off, (mostly on) until sometime after 5 a.m. when I decided that I had enough and I got out of bed.
I fed them breakfast, made coffee, and did a couple of other things and then went back in the bedroom and saw this.
I guess it was mission accomplished so no longer need to stay awake.
Chris was sitting on my lap yesterday evening when he reached up to stick his claws into my skin like he often does but this time his claws got stuck in my neck and I had to reach over and pull them out. I was highly annoyed, as well as in pain, and I said, “Okay, Chris, enough is enough.” I then picked him up and carried him to the bedroom.
The “enough” I was referring to was me allowing his nails to get so long and sharp. The reason I carried him into the bedroom was because my wife keeps the nail clippers in her nightstand drawer. She clips the cat’s nails about eighty percent of the time but she is away on a business trip so I did it.
Chris was amazingly good for me this time. He did not try to pull his paw away, even when I had trouble seeing some of his nails. After I finished, he made a point of washing his paws.
My wife called me at work yesterday to tell me that Frankie escaped. She said she had a hair appointment at 4:00 and if he wasn’t back by then she would have to leave him outside. I looked at my watch. It was just after 1:30. If I hurried I might be able to get all of my important work done and get home before she left.
Fortunately, she called me back at 3:00 to tell me that he was back. She said she opened the window on the door a few inches and the put a chair in front of it. Of course, Chris and Floki jumped at the chance to get a good smell out the window.
Rose was hoping to use them as Frankie detectors and it worked. When Frankie showed up Chris started growling and hissing which prompted Rose to get up and let him in
Not long after I got home, I noticed how comfortable Frankie was and wondered why he is always trying to get out.
He should know by now that there’s no place like home.
During the two months that we were in West Virginia, I did not take Frankie for a walk one time, although he did escape once. Frankie was generally content with hanging out on the catio and didn’t bother me to go outside so I didn’t bother offering. I thought when we got back to Florida he might forget about going for a walk, but not so.
We spent a good part of Sunday unpacking. We started shortly after waking up that day and by about 10:30 that morning Frankie was following me around the house desperately meowing at me. I don’t exactly speak cat but I think I can understand Frankie pretty well. He acts like that when he wants to go outside and thinks there is a real chance it is going to happen. It is like when you say to your dog in an excited voice, “Do you want to go outside?” Of course, the dog will get excited and go around in circles. That is almost the same reaction I get from Frankie but sometimes I get it without saying anything. That’s when I know it’s time to drop what I’m doing and take him out.
He stayed relitively close for a while. He was busy smelling all the plants in the area.
After a while, he started gradually moving away from the house. When we got about eight houses away I decided that was far enough and picked him up and carried him about halfway back before he struggled his way out of my hands. I didn’t care as long as he was walking in the right direction. He spent a lot of time smelling a plant in front of someone’s house that I worried the owner would look out the window and see me standing there. They would probably assume I had a dog and was letting him poop in their yard so I dropped Frankie’s leash and backed away a little.
When Frankie finally did resume moving he walked behind the houses. When we approached our house I picked him up and put him inside. As per tradition, when Frankie comes in, Chris goes out.
I hung around with Chris for a while, watching him eat grass and relax on the cool concrete. After about ten minutes he was done and asked me to open the door for him.
It was a nice break but then I went back to unpacking for the next four hours.