Tag Archives: history

Frankie: The First Three Years – Part Three


Today we continue with the third and last part of Frankie’s three year adventure with us. If you missed one or both previous parts, you can click here for part one or here for part two.

We start in February, 2016, long after Frankie has proven he can be a bad cat at almost the same level as Chris. Even badder in some ways.

cat Frankie in bushes

Here, Frankie has escaped and is hiding under a large bush to prevent capture.

Cat Frankie in front of the tv

Frankie went through a phase where he would lie in front of the television and partially block the remote control sensor.

cat Frankie in bag

Frankie’s ability to be cute has not waned in two plus years.

CAT UNDER TRUCK

Frankie still likes to escape.

Cat on laptop

He also likes to lie on keyboards, although I can’t imagine why.

cat in sun

Lying in the sunbeam is his favorite thing to do that does not involve getting into trouble or being annoying.

cats on lap

Our new kitten, Floki, arrives in July and competes for attention.

20160813_170747 Frankie and Chris

By August, Frankie is still enjoying his walks and he is still getting along with Chris.

20161112_cats_076

By November they are best frenemies.

cat on door

Frankie proves to be quite an acrobat.

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Frankie is usually the center of most fights in the house but he also can get along with everybody if he wants to.

cats on bed

See what I mean?

Well? What do you think of Frankie? Should we keep him? I think we should give him another 20 years and then re-evaluate. 🙂

Frankie: The First Three Years – Part Two


If you missed part one of Frankie’s pictorial history, you can see it here.

Today, let’s start just after his first year with us in February, 2015. By this time, Frankie has established himself as a competitor to Chris’s top-dog status. Er… I mean top-cat.

Our cat Frankie on his leash

By this time Frankie is used to the harness, although getting it on him is still not easy.

our cat Frankie and me.

He was supposed to be Rose’s cat but he had other plans.

Our cat Frankie making biscuits.

Even after a year, he still loved his security blanket.

20150329_Cats_1150Frankie proved too adventurous to be outside without restraints.

Our cat Frankie on roof

Escaping to the roof was not an isolated event.

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Frankie’s relationship with Chris continues to improve, but they are not without fights.

Our cat Frankie with Frog in his mouth

Frankie proves he can catch lizards too.

cat Frankie on stump

Frankie is now a regular leash walker and his current harness is much easier to put on. It is also easier to escape from.

Cat Frankie at vet

Just before Frankie’s second gotcha day, he visits the vet and he is not happy about it. He doesn’t want to leave his carrier.

This is the end of part two. What do you think of Frankie? Check back again soon for part three.

The Dominant Cat


We have always joked that Chris has to be the alpha in the house. The truth is, cats are not like dogs, there is no “alpha” cat in the wild, at least not among African Wildcats, the species that evolved into the modern domestic house cat.

African Wildcats are loners, especially the males. Each male has a single territory that does not overlap another male’s territory but may overlap several females’ territories. This may cause competition for mating purposes but there is no group that requires a leader.

About 12,000 years ago in the Middle East, humans started to give up their hunter-gatherer lifestyle and became farmers. This, of course, was a very gradual process but eventually there were communities of people growing wheat and other grains. They stored these grains in large bins that attracted rodents. The increase in rodents, in turn, attracted cats.

The humans not only tolerated the cats, they welcomed them. Cats were an almost perfect solution to the rodent problem but having several cats in the same area was a bit unnatural. I don’t know how they got along back then but over time they evolved to tolerate each other as well as humans.

Our domestic cats today have never developed the hierarchy or cooperation found in a pack of wolves, but they can live together in large groups that are not related without killing each other. Some even develop friendships with each other. I have noticed that male cats seem to get along better than female cats but that is the opposite of what happens between wild cats. I have also noticed that a lot of fighting happens between periods of calm.

Understanding what drives social behavior in cats is a complicated issue that I don’t come close to understanding. Chris’s behavior is a good example. He is always trying to be the dominant, or alpha, cat in the house, but since cats don’t have alphas, I’m not sure what he is thinking. Frankie does not let Chris dominate him, which is sometimes a source of tension. Puck is the submissive one and I sometimes feel bad because Frankie is always chasing him around the house in what may, or may not, be play.

Chris is different. He will show Puck plenty of affection most of the time but occasionally he will grab the back of his neck and hold him down. I try to break it up but Chris won’t let go. I have to pry his mouth open. On several occasions, I have even seen him standing over Puck, with two legs on the left and two on the right, dragging him by the neck across the floor. A short time after that he will lie down next to Puck and wash his ears.

Bad cat Chris grabbing Puck by scruff of neck

I have heard that pinching the scruff of a cat’s neck will produce a calming affect. Perhaps it is necessary as a kitten so the mother can carry her young without them struggling and it just remains through adulthood. I’m not sure why Chris would want to calm Puck down. He is already submissive to Chris. Perhaps it is just a friendly reminder that Chris is the boss.

What do you think? Do your cats do this?