The Frankie Story

Howdy folks,

So, the Frankie story. I’m having to wrack my brains a little bit now, as Vanna made the rescue four weeks ago Friday. I hadn’t anticipated it taking me this long to get around to sharing the story, but between illness*, work consuming me from 8-5 every day, and other duties such as my psychiatric tapes taking up my evening, I’ve had little time to reflect on the excitement of the past few weeks. I also wanted those pictures first, so there was that holding me back too. I’m sure you’d agree the slideshow I posted was worth waiting for (not that you knew you were waiting for anything because surprise! New cat!).

Anyway, Vanna found Frankie by the side of the road last month after dropping me off at work, and rescued him. As it happens we actually saw him first thing that Friday morning on our way to town, but the traffic was busy and it was pouring, so we weren’t sure what we saw (cat, roadkill, garbage bag?). On the return journey Vanna pulled over and  realized that the small lump was a little kitty – injured, scared, and soaking wet from all the cars splashing it as they drove by.

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blurry shot while driving to hospital

Of course Vanna had no choice at that point; she had to save him! It was obvious he was injured, so she grabbed him and took him to the Pequot Lakes Animal Hospital. The staff immediately made time for our emergency, and Frankie began his lengthy road to recovery. In the hours Frankie was being cared for, Vanna rushed around different stores getting everything he needed: bed, canned food, shallow litterbox (so he could actually get inside of it with his injuries), pet carrier, etc. On the way back to the clinic, she pulled me out of work early to help her with the preparations for our new cat. Big surprise to me but there was no time to think or ask questions – we had to get to the vet to pick up our battered stray!

The vet was relatively happy with kitty’s initial responses. He was very timid and quiet, as one would expect, but his cut leg was bandaged, we had drugs for his fractured hip, and the blood in his ear was seemingly not a problem. Although likely a stray from the condition of his nails and nourishment, a picture had to be taken just in case he belonged to someone; if nobody claimed him within 15 days – surprise, they didn’t – then he was under our ownership. The vet provided some further advice – speculation on his age was between 6-9 months – and then we were bringing him to his new home.

Note: the following paragraphs were put together by Vanna, as she has spent more time than I have with Frankie due to our differing work commitments. I thought she’d have better recall than me, and more time to write up a response.

Week 1 & 2: Recovery.

Our emotions in the first week varied; we were thrilled to finally have a second cat (which we have talked about for over a year now), but overwhelmed with the new responsibilities of mending an injured stray. Frankie spent all of his time hiding inside of his pet carrier with his special soft blanket. Frankie was pretty out-of-it for most of the first week due to different medications, so watching him was relatively easy as he was just a limp doll. It wasn’t long before we realized Frankie couldn’t see; this caused many new emotions and questions – do we keep him and learn to have a blind cat? Is it cruel to keep him alive if he is impaired and absolutely terrified of every sound? He was refusing food and water, so we had to force feed him in order to keep him alive. It wasn’t looking good.

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Frankie snuggled in his carrier with his blanket

The veterinarian, Dr. Grace, kept in constant contact with us throughout the weekend at all hours of the day (she truly cared about our little Frankie). She suggested that his blindness may be due to his brain swelling, and that he could/would regain his eyesight.Thankfully, she was correct! By the 2 week mark, Frankie was practically healed. His recovery rate was incredible, but he was still absolutely terrified of our every movement and sound – it was obvious he was feral. After using some Feliway, Frankie started to come out of his shell. It wasn’t long before we felt comfortable removing his barricades and introducing Kitten.

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time to explore the house

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because Frankie always has poopy paws, Vanna had to wash his blanket…and now Frankie wants nothing to do with it, so he’s latched onto this new pet bed

Week 3: Kitten and Frankie

After a lot of stalking, hissing, and demon growling, Kitten decided Frankie was not a threat. It took some time, as it does with new pets, but they were finally starting to get along. Things were looking and feeling good.

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Week 4: The beast is loose

That all came to a crashing stop when Frankie’s sex drive decided to kick in. Que the constant crying, moaning, and pacing. I thought female cats in heat were bad, but they have nothing on Frankie! He started trying to mount Kitten, which she obviously was NOT okay with; he also became quite aggressive with us as well as Kitten. He would chase and swat Kitten constantly and he started to nip at us. Thankfully, the weather was fair so Kitten could spend most of her time outdoors to escape the terrorizing ball of testosterone. But that too was short-lived since a nearby stray female came running to Frankie’s call.

Because Frankie had to wait until his injuries were healed before he could be vaccinated, he was a bit behind the average cats’ timeline. To follow guidelines for the vaccinations and boosters, the soonest he could be neutered was mid-April.

After a few sleepless nights of Romeo and Juliet crying at each other out the window, we decided we could not wait until mid April; thankfully, the clinic made an exception for us and set the new date for March 23 (this Wednesday, hallelujah!). Although closer, it was not close enough for me! After a week of no sleep and having to listen to the constant wallowing, my patience was maxed out. I cannot wait until Wednesday!

On the positive side, the constant need to be touched has made Frankie a loving snuggle buddy. He comes when we put our hand out (something Kitten would never lower her standards to do), he gives us hugs when we tap our chest, follows us around like a shadow, gives “head butts” and he likes to give stinky breath kisses. He is everything we could ever want in a cat. It is so obvious that he is thankful to be here.

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And that’s the Frankie story. Pretty special, right? I’ll keep you posted on any new developments as they occur. Until next time.

Alex

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*For the past week and a half, I’ve been struggling with the flu. I was off work last Monday after spending the entirety of my weekend wrapped up miserably in bed with a fever. Only now do I feel myself returning back to normal. I had planned on moving forward with the blog without apologizing for how long it took between posts (focus on quality instead of quantity) but it really wasn’t supposed to take me a few weeks to share Frankie’s story. Stupid illness. *sigh*

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