Tag Archives: introduction

Meet Frankie, Our Newest Addition


Saturday Rose and I were discussing Valentine’s Day and she surprised me by saying that instead of jewelry, I could get her a Bengal cat. She then added that a Snowshoe cat would be acceptable too.

We were in the car so I brought up Petfinder.com on my phone but there were very few that met her criteria. The ones that were listed were a fair distance away. They also had photos that were poor and descriptions that were almost non-existent. There was one possibility at the Hillsborough County Animal Shelter but they don’t answer their phones on the weekend and their description on Petfinder did not even mention the age, sex or temperament of the cat. I don’t understand why shelters don’t do a better job promoting their “detainees.”

We happened to be near a shelter called The Suncoast Animal League (where I once volunteered) so we decided to look there. There was a female Siamese cat that I thought was very friendly but Rose didn’t like her eyes. They were blue around the outside and had a reddish glow in the middle. Rose thought she looked evil but I would have taken her.

Next we went to The Humane Society of Pinellas County in Clearwater. I was impressed with how the cats were housed there. They had very large cages outside but under cover. Each cage was (and I’m guessing) about five feet by ten feet and housed between two and four cats. The cages were tall and there were structures for the cats to climb on or go inside. If I was a cat waiting for my forever home, I would want to wait there.

While we were there we saw a black and white kitten named Wilma. She was a frisky little girl and Rose liked her but someone else was in the cage with her so we decided to look around and come back. When we did come back that other person had already committed to adopting her.

From there we went to Petsmart in Clearwater, not far from the Humane Society. We found a three-year old gold and white cat that seemed very friendly. When he was brought out of the cage he immediately climbed on my shoulders, just like Chris did when I met him. Actually, Chris dug his claws in my back and scaled me like a mountain so it may not have been just like that. He then went to Rose’s shoulders and started treading (Rose calls it Marching) on her sweater while holding a piece of it in his mouth.

We decided to adopt him even though he was not the female Bengal or Snowshoe Rose was looking for. He was from the Pinellas County Animal Services and didn’t even have a name, just a number, B311304. We had to change that because we couldn’t call him B311304. I mean it is hard to remember. What if I accidently called him B311340? I wouldn’t want to confuse the little guy. Rose decided to name him Frankie after the Snowshoe cat that we wanted months ago but waited too long to decide and lost him (see here).

When we got him home we didn’t separate him from the other cats, which we should have, but Chris has never given a new cat a hard time and Puck is so friendly we didn’t think there would be a problem. We opened the cage door in the living room and the cat made a beeline for the spare bedroom and under the bed, where he remains as I write this. He came out for five or ten minutes on Sunday while we had the door closed and the other cats locked out. He was very friendly and let us pet him but he then went back under the bed and did not come back out until after we left for work yesterday (Monday).

Our new cat Frankie

Frankie was out from under the bed for a short time Sunday.

Our new cat Frankie

Frankie was “marching” and sucking on the blanket.

When I got home yesterday evening from work, he was lying on the bed in the spare bedroom. I closed the door that morning so he could have peace from the other cats and it seems to have worked. He let me pet him for a good ten minutes while Chris sat at the doorway staring. I got up and pet Chris too so he wouldn’t feel left out.

Eventually Frankie got tired of the attention and batted at my arm and hissed at me. Our cat Sneakers used to come around for attention and then bite you when he had enough. I hope he is not going to be like that. I did notice he did not extend his claws when he batted me. We were not informed that he was declawed (which I would never do to an animal) so I need to check that when I can do it without upsetting him more.

Frankie eventually ended up back under the bed again. I’m a bit worried because, as far as I can tell, he has only used the litter box I left in the bedroom once since Saturday. I plan on closing him inside the bedroom again today. Hopefully he will come out and do his business.

Chris Gets a Playmate


A few weeks before Abbey died we visited Jeff and Felice, Rose’s sister and brother-in-law. Felice works for a vet and is active in helping stray and feral cats in the area. Her and Jeff have also adopted several “unadoptable” cats with physical problems.

The day we came for a visit she had two very young kittens that she was bottle feeding in her home for a local rescue organization. One kitten was a male that was all black. The other was a black female with calico markings over one eye. They both needed homes and would be ready for adoption in a few weeks.

Of course, with Abbey being sick, we were not ready to adopt another cat at that time. We did not want to bring any trauma into the house during the small amount of time Abbey had left.

It happened that Abbey died when the kittens were old enough to be adopted and the next day happened to be Saturday, the only day that is convenient for visiting Felice. Rose really liked the kitten and wanted to get him, and I agreed, but I was hesitant about it because I didn’t want to cheapen the memory of Abbey by replacing her so quickly. In the end I realized it is the circle of life and there is nothing wrong with giving a home to a kitten who needs one.

New Kitten with housemate just before we brought him home.

So on Saturday, we were off to pick up our new kitten. We visited for a while before taking him home and watched him interacting with the other cats in the house. He seemed to get along with at least one or two of the other cats as well as the other kitten that he was raised with. We felt a little bad taking him away from the only home he knew but we also knew that his stay there was only temporary. He needed a permanent home and we were confidant that he would be happy with us.

When we brought him home we expected some bad behavior from Chris and Tigger. They are cats after all and cats can be very jealous creatures. Tigger, as expected, did a fair amount of hissing when he saw the new arrival and quickly left the room in disgust. Chris, however, was just curious. When we opened the carrier door, Chris greeted the new kitten by sticking his head inside and blocking the only way out.

This went on for several minutes and the nervous kitten just huddled in the carrier and didn’t want to come out. When he did come out he did a little exploring, which Tigger was not happy about. Chris just followed him around and seemed happy to have the distraction. Eventually our kitten discovered the under side of the bed and decided that was a good place to stay for a while.

Felice and Jeff named him either Chow Chow or Chow Man. We heard him called by both names and we are not sure which one was his given name. It didn’t really matter because we didn’t like either one and decided to change it. The reason they gave him the name was because he loved meal time. This proved true when I tried to lure him out from under the bed with a little plate of wet kitten food. In his case, food easily trumps shyness.

Chris greets kitten as he comes out for food.

After he ate he went back under the bed and that became his home away from home for a few days. Eventually he gave up his shelter. Tigger, for his part, gave the kitten hell for a week or two but then got over himself.

Part of the reason we wanted to get another cat goes back to about the time we first got Chris. He had so much energy and always wanted to play but none of our cats wanted to play with him. We thought we needed another cat with his energy level, if one even existed, to help keep him entertained so he would stop bothering us. At that time we had five cats, our limit, so one more was out of the question. There was also the possibility that another hyperactive cat could mean twice the trouble.

Since we moved into our latest home we discussed getting another cat from time to time. I thought if we did get one, it should be around Chris’s age so they would grow old at the same time. Our plan is to retire to a boat, motor home, or both, and old cats might work but a middle-aged, adventurous cat could be a problem in such a confined space. My plan, if we decided to get a cat, was to check shelters for a three-year old cat with ADHD. That opportunity never came up before we met the kitten that needed a home.

Our next dilemma was finding a good name for the newest member of our family. To be continued…

On another note, I moved Chris’s videos to his own YouTube channel, youtube.com/badcatchris. Also, don’t forget to “Like” Chris on Facebook at facebook.com/badcatchris.

 

Introduction


This is the story of Bad Cat Chris. That’s more his description than his name, but you get the idea. Normally I would not dream of writing a blog about a pet cat but Chris is not like any other cat that I, or anyone else who has met him, has ever seen. Everything about Chris is extreme. He is extremely friendly, affectionate and funny, heavy on the funny. Of course, there is a bad side and his is extremely bad.  I’m not talking about an evil bad, he is more like a problem child.

Chris was adopted and we don’t know his exact age but he is approximately three years old, perhaps as much as three and a half. His mental age, on the other hand, is about three months. He is a kitten that has never grown up.

My plan for this blog is to start out describing the early days, what led us to adopting him, the difficulties we had and what has changed. Eventually I want to catch up to the present day and talk about the daily struggles and rewards of taking care of a “Bad Cat.” I hope you’ll join me for more stories.

Chris and Chuck

This is Chris on my shoulders, doing what he has done since the day we met.