Tag Archives: harness

Bad Cat Tag Team

Ripped screenWe got up Sunday morning and discovered the window screen near the front door was tore to shreds at the corner near the door. We knew right away it was Frankie because he “picks” at the screen when he wants to go outside, and he wants to go outside a lot lately. It doesn’t help that he is an inside kitty and is not allowed outside because, unlike Chris, he is a runner.

Frankie has been picking at the screen for months and has not caused more damage than a couple of small holes, this seemed like an act of desperation.  I made a mental note to try to put the harness and leash on him again. Last time he put up quite a fight and it was very difficult to get it on him. It is also just plain difficult to put on which may be part of the reason he fights it. Before I did that, I had work to do on the truck so Frankie would have to wait.

I brought all the tools I thought I would need to change the spark plugs and wires, but I needed a metric wrench and all the ones I brought outside were standard so I went inside to get the right size wrench. When I returned, I noticed the front door was slightly open. I thought, “Shoot, did I not close the door all the way?” I was hoping no cat got out but if one did, I hoped it was Chris.

I saw Frankie when I got outside and the chase was on… again. My neighbor was also outside working on his truck and helped me give chase. It took about five minutes but I was able to catch him quicker than ever before. As I was carrying him home, my other neighbor, the one who caught Frankie on another one of his adventures, had Chris in her hands so we both deposited our respective cat in the house and I went back to work.

A little while later I had a broken plug wire and needed a needle-nose pliers to try to pull it out. Of course, I did not bring that outside so back into the house I went. When I returned, the front door was open again and Chris and Frankie were outside. Fortunately I was able to get Frankie fairly quickly again and then I had to Chase Chris down who was not ready to go inside.

Bad Cat Chris trying to open doorIt occurred to me at some point that it was Chris who was opening doors. He is a fabulous door opener and I even have an old post called “Chris the Locksmith” that illustrates that. Most of the year it is pretty humid around here and the door swells enough for it to be hard to open and close. This time of year the door opens quite easy so if it is not locked, Chris can open it easily. It is almost always locked so I forgot about that problem while I was outside and had the door unlocked.

After both cats escaping twice, Rose locked the door to keep it from happening again. Unfortunately, I needed to clean a part so I rang the doorbell and asked her for some paper towels. She unlocked the door, handed me the towels and then shut the door, forgetting to re-lock it. It wasn’t long after that that she was yelling at me that the cats were out. Our neighbors must have thought we were a couple of buffoons that didn’t know how to keep indoor cats indoors.

After finally retrieving the cats for the third time, I got back to work on the truck. When I finished Rose and I went out for lunch because, with my mind off my task, I realized I hadn’t eaten breakfast and was starving. When we returned, the window screen was pulled off the window. This, after I secured it with a piece of electrical tape in each of the corners after the last time Frankie pulled the screen off.

Cats on screenI guess it was time to take Frankie outside. I found his harness and leash and with great difficulty, managed to put it on him. I opened the door and he and Chris immediately ran outside. I felt bad because Puck was left inside to watch for the fourth time in one day. Frankie is still not used to the leash and tends to drop to the ground when he encounters too much resistance but other than that, he seemed to enjoy his time outside.

I had to bring him in after a short time because I could not watch Frankie and Chris at the same time, and Chris was starting to wander around to the side of the house. It was safer at that point to have everyone inside. Now the problem is, how do we  quell the desperation that Frankie has to go outside and what do I do about fixing the screen and keeping it fixed?

Related Posts:

Frankie’s Big Adventure: The Movie
Frankie’s Big Adventure
We’ve Created a Monster
Bad Cat Frankie
Another Big Adventure for Frankie


We’ve Created a Monster

Rose’s mom came to visit on Thanksgiving and accidentally let Frankie outside. If you read my previous post, “Frankie’s Big Adventure,” you would know that Frankie is a cat who likes to run and does not stay close to the house. Twice he led us on a wild chase and I fear we will lose him if he gets out again. Fortunately, this time, the three of us surrounded him and Rose’s mom grabbed him as he tried to go under our truck.

That short jaunt outside rekindled his passion for the outdoors and he spent a lot of time that day crying at the door and scratching on the window. I decided this would be a good time to put his harness on him and take him outside. I bought the harness a few months ago but Frankie refused to let me put it on him so I gave up and put it away somewhere.

It took awhile before I found where I put the harness but the lead wasn’t with it. I had to call in the help of our resident expert tracker and Rose located it with no problem. Again, Frankie would not let me attach the harness. I managed to get it over his head but he struggled too much and I couldn’t put it around his body and attach the clip. Finally, Rose helped me. I held him while she attached the clip. I then attached the lead and opened the front door. Frankie and Chris both ran out the door at the same time. Frankie took of in a sprint and was surprised when he reached the end of the rope and was suddenly stopped. He rolled onto his back and was quite cute when he suddenly go up and ran again.

This behavior repeated a few times and then, as if by magic, he had the harness off his head and was just being held around his belly. I knew that wouldn’t last so I scooped him up and put him inside. I then collected Chris and we stayed in the rest of the day.

The next day Frankie was at it again. He seemed to be desperate to go outside. It was a nightmare to leave the house or come back because he was right there trying to escape. We have put up with Chris doing that for years but never had to worry about losing him because Chris stays close. He will wander off after a while but I usually get tired of watching him and bring him inside before that happens. Frankie will run and keep running, stopping briefly to investigate whatever catches his eye, before returning in the direction away from the house.

I decided to let him out again but skip the harness and use a regular cat collar that I had in the closet. I bought a few collars four years ago when we moved back to Florida from Myrtle Beach. I wanted to put one on each of the cats with our contact information in case they escaped during our trip. Rose poo pooed that idea. She thought I was being weird and paranoid so the collars never got used.

Cat Frankie on leash

Cat Frankie on caair


Cats Frankie and Chris

I put the collar on Frankie. It had one of those plastic clips that are easy to put on and take off. I then hooked the lead and opened the door. Again, Chris went out with us and again Frankie ran until he reached the end of the lead. I tried to keep up with him because I didn’t want the collar to choke him but he was too fast.

He eventually figured out that running was not good and slowed down a bit but he had to investigate everything. He would walk around bushes or under our neighbor’s chairs and I had to keep moving his lead from one hand to another to keep it from getting tangled. After a few minutes he saw a lizard and lunged for it. When he did the color snapped open and he was free. I was able to grab him right away and pick him up only because the lizard distracted him. I carried him into the house and gave up for the day.

Saturday we tried again. I realized what we did wrong when attaching the harness and wanted to give it another try. Of course, he made it very difficult to put it on him but when I did we went out the back door this time. Frankie was becoming a real pain about trying to get out the door and Rose didn’t want him to expect to be let out that door. I understood her reasoning but I first wanted to get Frankie used to the area so he would know where home was if he got out by mistake.

I asked Rose to help because I wanted Puck to go out too. I felt bad that he was always left inside. So off they all went, Frankie on the lead with me and Puck and Chris under Rose’s watchful eye. Frankie immediately led me away and we found ourselves at the far side of the back yard where Frankie tried to slip through the fence. This time he couldn’t. I didn’t want to pull him like a dog or horse so I picked him up and walked him closer to our back door.

Cat Frankie with harness

Rose was having a little trouble with Puck by then and decided to try to catch him and bring him in. Frankie was investigating the bushes by our neighbor’s patio when Chris stopped by to say hi. He and Frankie exchanged sniffs and then Chris noticed the screen door to their patio was open slightly so he decided to go inside to investigate. That complicated everything so I picked up Frankie to bring him inside. Meanwhile, Rose had put Puck inside and then went to retrieve Chris.

Whew! That was an exhausting eight minutes. I don’t think I want to do that again for a while. Now we just have to put up with Frankie picking at the window screen. I tried blocking it with objects today but that didn’t stop him. Hopefully that won’t last long.