Here is Frankie on a recent walk. During our walks, he often takes a time out for some rest and relaxation.
Frankie and I went for a nice walk the other day. The first thing Frankie needed to do was get a good sniff on a nearby car.
The cat that he met on a previous walk may have left him a message there.
It was a warm day so we needed to stop in the shade for a while.
Then it was on to the traditional roll in the dirt.
And then more rolling in the dirt.
Finally we stopped to rest on some nice, comfortable concrete.
On a side note, I forgot to mention that Frankie’s paw improved on it’s own after he hurt it a couple of weeks ago. By the next day he was walking fine. I still see him holding it up in the air sometimes though. I don’t know if it bothers him or if that is just something he does. I will have to watch him more closely.
I took Frankie for a walk the other day because it had been at least a week since his last escape and I had been procrastinating about taking him out so I decided it was time. Of course, he helped motivate me by being extremely annoying. Somehow he knows when I make the decision to take him out because he gets very excited and follows me around the house meowing constantly. Then I take his harness out of the drawer and the excitement level rises to epic proportions.
On this day we didn’t go very far when Frankie stopped about ten feet from a parked car and stared. I didn’t know what he was looking at but soon saw a black cat under the car.
The cat had a collar but I could not tell if it was a flea collar. Outside cats are not allowed where I live so either somebody is breaking the rules or someone put a flea collar on a stray cat as a friendly gesture. It could also be a stray or feral cat that someone has been taking care of and the collar is to discourage trapping.
Surprisingly, Frankie did not growl or hiss at the cat nor did the cat growl or hiss at Frankie. That could be because it was female. I don’t know. Frankie quietly inched his way forward and the truce lasted until he was very close and then the cat hissed and ran under the next car.
Frankie didn’t pursue. Instead, he found a tree about about forty or fifty feet away and left his calling card.
Of our four cats, only Chris and Frankie, our two gold cats, go outside. They don’t go out very often, usually only for brief periods during the weekend. Of the two, only Frankie needs to wear a harness and that is because he won’t stay close to home where I can watch him.
Since we moved here a year and a half ago, I have been taking Frankie for a walk, partly to see if he will find his way home. The problem is, and always has been, he usually travels in one direction until we get far away and I have to pick him up and carry him home. The video below is an example of what I go through.
I will say that a week or so after I sot this video, Frankie did manage to circle around and end up back at our house. That was a big milestone.
Our cats are stuck inside most of the time so I can’t blame them for trying to get out every time someone opens the door. Lately Frankie has been relentless. He stands by the door and cries or he runs to the door every time someone in the house gets up.
I try to put a harness on him at least once each weekend. When I do, Chris is right there ready to run out the door. I try to stop him but I often fail and he is outside with Frankie. That is what happened Saturday. I tried watching Chris while I had Frankie on the harness. It was easy at first because Frankie and Chris were both content with staying close to home while eating grass.
The problem started when Chris wandered to the back to see what Frankie was doing and then kept going to the neighbor’s driveway behind us. I then had to put Frankie inside the house and retrieve Chris. I then brought Chris inside and let Frankie back out again. It was a pain but Frankie was happy in the end.
Frankie was being very vocal on Saturday about wanting to go outside so I decided to take him for a walk. Rose took out the cat harness and leash and said things like “Oh boy Frankie, you’re gonna go outside!” That got him all riled up but I wasn’t ready yet. I still had to find my shoes and put them on, which surely was an excruciatingly long time for Frankie.
When I finally got his harness on and opened the door, Chris bolted out the door after Frankie. I expected him to try that but I was still unable to stop him. That made walking Frankie more difficult because now I had to keep an eye on Chris too. He won’t run away like Frankie does but Chris will wander off after a little while.
I tried keeping Frankie close to home so I could monitor Chris.
When he would walk too far away I had to pick him up, or pretend to try to pick him up, to get him going back toward home.
It wasn’t too long before Chris made it out to the front of the house, near the street. It is a relatively quiet street but I don’t trust all the old drivers around here.
Before long, Chris made his way to the neighbor’s driveway, which forced me to put Frankie in the house so I could retrieve Chris before he got himself into trouble.
The next morning Frankie was even more vocal about wanting to go outside. The back door is right next to the bathroom where Rose was getting ready and Frankie was really annoying her so Rose asked me to take Frankie out again.
This time, with Rose’s help, we made it outside without Chris.
Frankie spends about ten minutes in our back yard just eating grass, smelling the air, and looking around.
Frankie was probably thinking about an early lunch but they flew away.
After a half hour outside it was starting to feel hot so I “encouraged” Frankie to head toward home. After a while my encouragements weren’t working so I had to pick him up and carry him home.
When I open the door to put him inside, Chris ran out. It wasn’t fair for Chris to be stuck inside while Frankie was out so I let him stay outside while I watched him. Chris is funny because when you talk to him with a scolding voice, he rolls around to show you how cute he is.
“Chris! What are you doing!”
While I was watching Chris outside, Rose opened the door to ask me a question and Frankie ran out. Crap! I tried to catch him but failed and he ended up under my truck. I quickly put Chris in the house so I could concentrate on catching Frankie but he proved very elusive.
Eventually he ended up across the street under the neighbors car.
He knows I can’t get him under a car so I just sat on my porch in the hot sun and waited him out. Sometimes he would come out but stayed close so he could run back under the car if I got close.
I finally gave up and went inside for five minutes. When I came out, Frankie was gone. I searched for him for a few minutes and then went back inside. I thought I would sit in the air conditioning for a little while and watch out the window. That was when Rose spotted him on the street sitting in somebody’s Garden.
I went back outside to retrieve Frankie. This time he games me no trouble and let me pick him up and bring him home.
I think it’s good for our cats to get outside, but it always seems to be a pain in the butt as well.
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.
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.
He started by looking for lizards but found none so he ate a little grass for a while.
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.
Chris and Frankie have both been increasingly annoying lately in their attempts to get one of us to let them outside. Frankie is the vocal one. He will make lots of noise while sitting and staring at the door. Chris is the sneaky one. Every time I go outside I check to make sure there is no cat around and then make a quick dash out the door. More often than you could imagine, before I get a chance to close the door, Chris is already outside.
At least I don’t have to worry too much about Chris running off and often I will let him stay out for a few minutes before I bring him in. He mostly just eats grass or lies on the driveway. If I leave him out too long he will start to wander off and then I know it is time to bring him in.
Frankie I have to worry about. If he escapes it is very difficult to catch him. He tends to travel far from home and I worry if I ever lose track of him he might not remember how to get home. So to allow Frankie to have some outside time and also to let him get used to the neighborhood, I have been trying to take him for a walk more often lately.
These walks are always an adventure. Granted, a good part of the time spent outside is Frankie standing around smelling bushes.
Some of the walk is a bit boring for me, as you can see from the video, but there is always some excitement, such as Frankie trying to run after a bunny or a lizard. On our last walk we had both of those plus a snake, which required great effort to keep him from catching.
One time we even encountered a big dog off his leash.
The camera just stopped recording at that point but everything turned out fine. The dog owner apologized and said the dog was best friends with a cat at home. Even so, I hope he keeps him on a leash from now on.
The main problem I have with taking Frankie out is that the more he goes out the more he wants to go out. At least, that used to be the main problem. A new, bigger problem appeared the other day.
On Friday Rose noticed what she thought was an eye booger on Frankie but when she removed it she discovered it was a flea. That led to DEFCON 5 in our house and we had to buy flea medication for all the cats, which I don’t like because it is unhealthy for them, but Rose thinks my all natural methods are a bit crazy at times and I knew I wouldn’t win this round with fleas in the house. We bought a six-pack of Advantage II for cats at PetSmart which was expensive, about $76 before tax. I then discovered it on Amazon for much less but we needed it right away.
Now Rose insists that Frankie and Chris never go out again. I don’t agree with that but for now Frankie is stuck inside. Chris has already been out this morning but only because he is better than Frankie at escaping.
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.
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.