Tag Archives: leash

King of the Lizard Catchers


Sunday I decided to take Frankie for a walk.  He loves to be outside but since he is an adventurer, I have to bring him out on a leash and harness. That means he doesn’t go out much because I am either too busy, too tired, it’s too hot outside, or I am just plain lazy. These are the same reasons I don’t have a dog.

Frankie likes to travel in a straight line down the sidewalk, like he knows what it is for, pausing occasionally to smell stuff and then moving on.

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Frankie the cat with flowers I let him lead and keep hoping he will eventually start travelling back toward home but he rarely does. I usually have to pick him up and carry him home. I tried to pick him up on this day but he would have none of it and changed direction on his own and headed home.

When we got home he walked up to the front door, instead of the usual side door, and I opened it a bit for him to go inside but he changed his mind. I changed it back for him and picked him up and put him inside.

Chris was at the door wondering why Frankie got to go outside without him so I let Chris out. Chris usually goes out the side door and eats grass next to the driveway so this was a bit of a treat for him.

Bad Cat Chris

He started by looking for lizards but found none so he ate a little grass for a while.

Bad Cat Chris eating grass

Before I knew what was going on, Chris was at the door with a lizard in his mouth. Even with his added girth, he is still the King of the Lizard Catchers.

I tried unsuccessfully to get him to give up his lizard but he is stubborn. Finally I was able to get him to drop it and the lizard ran away, but Chris was off in hot pursuit. He caught him, lost him and followed him into the brush to catch him again. Check out the video of the incident below.

Just so you know, the lizard survived the ordeal.

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Early Morning Drama


Chris was being very annoying this morning, crying at the door to go outside. Rose asked me to let him out for a few minutes so she could have some peace while she got ready for work. I complied, since I had things to do outside anyway and then brought him back in after a few minutes of him eating grass.

Bad Cat Chris outside Bad Cat Chris outsideBad Cat Chris outside

While he was out, Frankie was very upset that Chris was out and he wasn’t, so when I got back inside Rose said I should put Frankie’s harness on and take him for a walk. I didn’t really feel like doing that but I got his harness and my camera (just in case there was something worth sharing) and opened the door to let him out.

Frankie was a little nervous at first, for some unknown reason, but he soon was on his way. Within two minutes of being outside, Frankie managed to slip out of his harness. Fortunately I caught him in time. I brought him back inside, Rose put his harness back on and then I tried again. Chris slipped out the door at the same time and Rose said not to worry, she could see him from the door. It soon became clear that, despite Rose’s assurances, she was not watching Chris. I tried to keep Frankie close so I could also watch Chris but it wasn’t easy. Eventually I had to bring Frankie in, a little earlier than Frankie wanted, so I could go get Chris.Bad Cat Chris and Frankie outside

That was more difficult than expected because Chris pulled Frankie’s old trick that Frankie learned from Chris. He hid under Rose’s car. My efforts to get him out resulted in only growling, hissing and biting. It didn’t help that the lady across the street chose that time to take her two dogs for a walk.

Rose needed to leave for work so my only recourse was to turn the hose on and squirt him out. That worked, but then he got under my truck. Eventually, I was able to get him close enough to the edge to pull him out. He was not happy about that.

On the Cat Walk


Saturday morning Chris and Frankie were being very loud and annoying in their efforts to be let outside. Since Chris was throwing up a lot on Friday and a little more that morning, I thought eating some grass might be good for him, so I let him out. He didn’t go for the grass as expected but instead went up the driveway and found Rose’s plants. He then did some nearby exploring before settling down and eating grass, which he soon  up when he got inside. I guess he needed that.

Bad Cat Chris in flower bed.

It was then Frankie’s turn. He’s a runner so I had to put his harness on before going out.

I then grabbed my Canon Powershot camera and then walked out the door with Frankie. The camera is about six years old, ancient but today’s standards, but it takes good pictures. It was also close and my good camera was in the closet, too far away to make an excited cat wait. I turned the dial to video mode, pushed the shutter button and off we went.

Frankie is quite the explorer and we went here, there and everywhere. He even saw a bunny before I did and ran after it, surprising me and probably him too when the leash tightened up. Towards the end of the walk we came across a couple of neighbors which made him a little nervous and hastened our return.

Later, when Rose’s mother and sister came to the house, I cooked some hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill. As I was bringing in a plate full of food, Frankie ran out the door. I quickly put my shoes on and went after him. Eventually I ended up on the next street over trying to coax Frankie out from under a car. I actually was giving him space, hoping he would move on.

That is when Rose’s sister, Felice (our hero kitten rescuer), showed up to help. She kneeled next to the car to see where he was at. I knew she was thinking about grabbing him and dragging him out from under the car but I remembered when I tried to do that Frankie scratched up my arm and became even more entrenched and angry as well. Felice managed to grab Frankie and drag him out without getting a scratch.

When everybody left, I was excited to upload the video I took of our walk but I had an unpleasant surprise. I discovered that the video was set to the smallest resolution possible. It was so small that it was essentially worthless except for maybe an iWatch.

I did find another video though. It was Frankie and me walking around the neighborhood for the first time about two weeks ago. That day Chris escaped when I took out Frankie. He normally stays close so I was trying to watch him while I was walking Frankie but he wandered too far and I had to put Frankie away and get Chris. When I came back out I couldn’t find him at first. When I did find him, I brought him in and took Frankie out again.

Walking a cat is not like walking a dog. They go where they want and if you try to influence them too much the resistance increases. The best I could do is keep him from going to far into people’s yards.

Cat Frankie outside

Three Cats, One Yard, No Lizards


Sunday we let all three cats explore the back yard again. Frankie still needs to be on a leash so he doesn’t run away but Chris and Puck were free to play while Rose kept an eye on them.

Frankie is getting used to the leash and harness and did not get as freaked out by the sudden stop like he did in the past. The three of them spent some time, just like last week, trying to catch lizards. Unfortunately for them, the lizards were a bit quicker than they were last week when Chris and Puck both caught one.

Cat looking for lizard

Where are you lizard?

cat on leash

Everything went well until after we brought the cats inside. That is when, after noticing how desperate our plants needed water, I decided to go back out and water them. I should have been more watchful for bad cats because on the way out Frankie surprised me and slipped out the door with Chris right behind him. Fortunately our neighbor left their patio door open and Frankie went inside to explore. I didn’t have my camera so I was not able to get pictures of him trapped in someone else’s home.

I didn’t want to possibly break the law by going inside so I went around the other side and was able to get him to head towards Rose who scooped him up coming out the door. Hopefully someday I will be able to let him out without worrying he will run away.

A Good Day For Being Outside… and Hunting Lizards


Sunday was a beautiful day so we decided to put the harness on Frankie and let him outside. He has been terrible lately with his picking at the screen by the front door. Counting yesterday, he has pulled the entire screen off the window at least five times, three times after I put tape on it to hold it in and once after I put extra tape on it. Rose thinks he was an outside cat and we are being cruel forcing him to stay inside. I understand her concerns but I think we live too close to a busy road for that to be an option. Perhaps if we lived down the road a bit I would consider getting him a collar and letting him out during the day.

Our cat Frankie on his leashI got Rose’s help and let all the cats out the back door on Sunday. I held Frankie’s leash while Rose watched Chris and Puck. Everything went pretty well for a while then Rose yelled to me that Puck had caught a lizard and brought it in the house. She wanted me to get it out but I had to get the cats in first so I gave her Frankie and went to get Chris. While I was trying to catch him he caught a lizard too.

I gave him to Rose who was able to get the lizard out of his mouth while I went inside to find Puck. He was in the bathroom where he had dropped the lizard into the litter box. Not sure what his plan was but I scooped up the lizard and put him outside.

I brought my new camera with me and took a video but unfortunately I had replaced the memory card with one that was too slow to handle video so it kept shutting off after a few seconds of shooting. I also tried to get a picture of Chris with a lizard bit he moved too fast for a good shot.

Bad Cat Chris catching lizard

Chris catching a lizard.

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.