Tag Archives: review

Frankie: The First Three Years – Part One

Our cat Frankie has now been with us three years already. Time sure does fly. (To see my first post about him, read here). I thought we adopted him late in February but it was actually February 8, and I missed it. So even though I’m a little late, I thought I would show a few highlights from Frankie’s first three years.


After visiting at least two other shelters, we fond Frankie at a PetSmart in Clearwater, Florida. He only had a number, no name.

Our new cat Frankie

Chris was unexpectedly hostile toward Frankie, so after hiding under the bed for his first day, Frankie decided to come out of his self-imposed exile on day two. It helped that we had shut out Chris and Puck from the bedroom.

Our cat Frankie playing with Turbo Scratcher

Frankie was a playful cat but…

Chris interupts Our cat Frankie playing with Turbo Scratcher

When Chris was around, there was no playing.

Our cats Chris and Frankie Outside.

Frankie’s first foray outside was successful… until he discovered he could walk through the fence.

Our cat Frankie under a car

Then he discovered Chris’s old trick of hiding under cars.

Our cat Frankie on trike

Frankie quickly got comfortable in our home.

Our cat Frankie is relaxing on the chair.

… and more comfortable.

20140510_Frankie in bowl_0981

Soon he was expecting the royal treatment.



We soon discovered Frankie had a shoe fetish.


Our cat Frankie under the dressor

We also discovered early that he was very photogenic.

Our cats Puck, Chris and Frankie.

By August, everyone was getting along – part-time.

Cat Frankie on caair

Frankie wanted out so bad but it was too risky so in November I bought a harness for him. I had trouble with it so I used a breakaway collar that broke away. (This is not our junk)

Frankie and Christmas tree.

Frankie first Christmas fascinated him.

Our cats Frankie and Chris

He was even getting along with Chris by then (mostly).

cats Frankie and Puck

He also made a friend in Puck.

Since there is so much more to review, I decided to split this up into two or three parts. I hope you liked it and will come back to see Frankie’s further adventures.

Review of Cat’s Pride Cat Litter

Cats's Pride cat literIn a recent post I mentioned that I had finally settled on using a litter called Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat litter. It took awhile to get Chris to stop pooping on the floor so I decided that I would stick to what works. Well… I didn’t. Last week Rose and I came across a very good deal on Cat’s Pride cat litter and we decided since Chris seemed like he was cured of his floor pooping habit it was worth a try.


The litter is lighter than standard clumping litter which doesn’t matter much to me except when I change it and Cat's Pride cat litterhave to put it in a trash bag and hope the bag doesn’t break when I am caring it to the outside trash container (it’s happened). It is also a somewhat finer grain and is much easier to scoop. The litter scoop travels through the litter like a knife through warm butter.

The bad news is that the litter is somewhat dusty. It’s not as bad as some of the cheap brands but it is worse than what I am used to. It also tends to track more through the house. Those two problems alone would not be enough to regret my decision to buy it but there is a third problem that is much worse. It does not clump anywhere good enough to be useful, and the container says “Improved Clumping.” I try to be very careful when scooping but still the clumps break apart and some of the pieces fall back into the box, too small to be picked up with the scoop. That means that there is a build up of urine that just stays in the box. We even found a poop on the floor next to the box after just two days.

It has been six days since I put the litter in and I already bought more Precious cat litter so I can change back as soon as I have time to do so. Lesson learned. if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


Scratch-n-maze A couple of weeks ago we picked up a cat scratcher called Scratch-N-Maze. It is basically a scratcher and toy in one. It has a ball inside with one hole on top and several along the sides.

When we brought it home we should have just put it down and left it alone but instead we put a little catnip on it. This, of course, got the cats artificially interested in it. They were mostly interested in the catnip and not the scratcher or the toy. Since we had to go out again, we decided to wait and see how they liked it after the catnip effect wore off.

When we got home we found the Scratch-N-Maze pulled apart, catnip everywhere, and the ball on the floor. Not what we expected after two hours.

Scratch-n-maze pulled apart by cats

Since then I saw Chris playing with the ball through the holes once and I have yet to see either cat use it as a scratcher. This may be a great item for some cats but for ours, I would give it two paws down.

The Wild Side of Cats

Over a year ago I received an email stating that one of Chris’s YouTube videos (http://youtu.be/iFnHCcrlrnI) was being considered for inclusion in a National Geographic documentary titled Wild Side of Cats. I filled out the necessary paperwork but never heard back from them so I assumed (correctly) he didn’t make the cut and made a mental note to watch for the show but then forgot about it.

I don’t watch much television but by chance I noticed that it was showing the other night so I watched it. I found it to be quite interesting. The show parallels our domestic cat’s behavior to that of wild cats.  One interesting example is that purring is a method of quiet communication between mother and kittens so as not to be heard by potential predators.

Another example is that wild cats will bury their unfinished kill so that other animals can’t smell it. I often see Chris do this after I feed the cats wet food. He will eat a small amount and then scratch at the floor like he is trying to bury it. I often wondered if he was saving it for later or burying it because it tasted like poop. Now I know.

Towards the end of the show they indicated that some of the affectionate things that cats do are done for non-affectionate reasons. While some of what they say may be true some of the time, I think it is wrong to try to explain away loving gestures in a cold, scientific way.

For example, they say a cat that lies on someone’s lap does it for warmth. I say that whoever produced this show probably does not have cats. Chris can be very needy at times for affection and lies on my lap quite often. I can guarantee he is not doing it for warmth. As a matter of fact, it is hot here in Florida in the summer and the cats lie on the tile floor because it is cooler. The extra warmth Chris gets from my lap is a sacrifice that he makes for attention. In addition, when Rose and I do sit down and watch television, Rose likes to sit with a pillow on her lap and Chris will often come and lie on her pillow. No warmth there but plenty of affection.

I think all warm-blooded creatures have emotions and cats have very strong emotions. They can love you just like you love them. So the next time your cat wants to lie on your lap, be assured that he or she loves you for you and not for your body temperature.

Despite my rantings, I believe the other 99 percent of the show is very interesting and worth watching. You can find more information about it at http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/episodes/wild-side-of-cats/

If you have seen the show, or even if you haven’t, let me know what you think.