• StevenF

Cats, Cats, Cats

Updated: Apr 12

Isaias sent me this photo of Trooper the other day. I don't recall ever having seen this particular photo before. She's so beautiful in this one.

I miss her a lot. She was my baby. And she loved me so much. And I loved her.

I've said it before, but if I didn't have Grizzy, Franki, Blondie, and Chappy, I think Trooper's death would have caused me to be inconsolable. Fortunately, these girls and Franki keep me too busy and to full of love for me to wallow in grief.

But I miss Trooper so much. Jasper too.

Franki sure keeps us on our toes, though. He can be quite skittish. He startles quite easily. I try to walk slowly whenever I come towards him, otherwise he thinks I'm after him or something.

He's a very playful cat. Lots of energy. Sometimes he bites or scratches a bit more roughly than we prefer, more with Isaias than with me, but he isn't doing it maliciously. He's just a very innocent, rambunctious cat.

He is getting better at sleeping at night, although he still wakes up pretty early. I was really happy to wake up this morning to find Grizzabella and him sleeping fairly close to each other, with only my legs between them.

They are cohabitating much better. Grizzy doesn't growl as often at him. She only does so when he gets a little too hyper in her space. She is jealous of him, especially when I'm petting him instead of her. So I try to pet them equally.

But they are able to stay in a room together without any problem. Franki gets very close to Grizzabella, and while not thrilled by it, she lets him. Franki is too naive to be afraid of Grizzy, and Grizzy isn't afraid of him, just annoyed. But I am glad they are getting used to each other.

Chappy ran into him the other day, and I really think she would have attacked him if I hadn't gotten in her way. Franki has no idea what she's really like. He wants to be her friend, but Chappy is not at all interested in that. I wish Chappy knew how to be more social, but she is extremely agitated by both Grizzabella and Franki. I know she has attacked Grizzabella in the past because Grizzabella is more wary of her than she once was, which may also be why she's cautious around Franki. Grizzabella may have black cat PTSD.

Franki does this funny thing when he is excited by or interested in something. He'll stand on his hind legs like a meerkat. It's very funny.

He's such a curious guy. He likes to follow us into the bathroom but usually will flop himself outside the door.

He's hard to find when he is hiding. All we can ever see are his sea foam-green eyes, and sometimes we can make out his fat silhouette, but because he is all black, he can be hard to spot.

Fortunately, his hiding spots seem to be consistent. Most often, we can find him under our bed, where he will often stay for hours. He also likes to hide behind our couch. Nighttime seems to be when he is most active, especially when we have just come home from work. He must be as excited to see us as we are to see him. It does take a bit of time to get him to wind back down so that we can all go to sleep.

Two other cats have been visiting our backyard—a white male in not-so-good shape that Isaias has dubbed "Ghost," and then a Franki lookalike that Isaias has named Myrrh.

They may even be related. Sadly, we are all full up on cats here. We can take no more in at this time. But like all the other strays we have helped, Isaias continues to feed them and let them hang out in our yard.

We sure love our little "Franki Boo," as we often call him. We sometimes change it up and call him "Franki Boo Jangles" and "Franki Boo Radley." I can't remember if I shared this already, but the "Boo" nickname arrived when we were still searching for his family. We were looking up generic names of black cats to see if he responded to any of them. One of the suggested names was "Boo," and it kind of stuck with Franki's first name, so we often call him that now.

It's funny the nicknames we come up for our cats.

Trooper was "Troopie," "Trooper McTroopington," and "Troopie-Troop

Blondie is "Blondie-Blondie" and has been "Blonderella" on occasion.

Chaplin is, of course, "Chappy," "Chappy-Chap," and we have also called her "Chappaquidick," "Chap-Chap," and "Chapparoo."

Grizzabella is "Grizzy," "Grizzy-Bell," "Grizzabella, the Glamour Cat," "Grizz-Grizz," and "Grizz." I also sing her name to the tune of "Johhny Angel" (i.e. "Grizzabella, how I love you.").

Jasper was "Buddy" and "Freddy," as in "Ready, Freddy."

And I've already mentioned Franki, whose full name is Frankincense.

We sure love our babies. We are very blessed cat dads.

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