• StevenF

The Dilemma of Franki

Updated: Apr 12

As promised in yesterday's post, I'm going to tell you about a new cat that has been staying in our backyard. -My friends keep telling me the neighborhood cats must know about how well they will be treated if they come to our backyard-

So this is Frankincense (named so because he or she has most frequently been here during the holiday season).

We do not know Franki's sex at this point. For now, I will call Franki a "she" until we learn more. This cat will not leave our backyard. What's troubling is she seems to be relatively well-groomed and well-fed, so we think she probably belongs to somebody. Yet she sleeps here and eats here, and she seems to have no intention of leaving. So has she recently been abandoned? Is she a stray that someone else is taking care of, too? Is she just an outdoor cat whose owners don't seem to care about? What is this cat's deal?

She really started frequenting the yard after Trooper died. At the time, I told Isaias, "I can't do another cat right now." Especially after what we went through with Jasper, I just didn't think my heart could take it. And Isaias is so weary of being sad, so he has really been pushing for this cat to leave.

But the cat won't leave. To boot, although she is a bit skittish and feral-acting, she is also very friendly and sweet. She lets us brush her fur (we don't want her to get knots like Grizzabella and Jasper did) and she loves being stroked and petted. Our biggest fear for her is that it has been so cold lately, especially at night. It's actually uncharacteristically cold here in Vegas this year. We don't want the poor cat to freeze or get sick.

Initially, we put blankets and Jasper's old cat bed outside, and Franki does use them. But she is always at our patio door or sleeping near the bed, and it's odd to us that if she has a home, she doesn't go there. Isaias has put notices online about the cat to see if anyone has lost a cat or knows who it is, but thus far there have been no takers.

The other day, we donated Jasper's old food (salmon, which none of our other cats like) to an organization called The Poppy Foundation, a non-profit that "rescues special needs, chronically ill, unadoptable and abused cats." It's a special place. When we dropped off the food items, we visited the cats. They all have this common area filled with cat beds, cat trees, toys, food dishes, and litter boxes. Some of the more aggressive or frightened cats are kept in large kennel-like structures. Some cats are friendlier than others. I had one following me around named Elsa while the one that seemed to gravitate towards Isaias was named PoppySocks.

While the cats were following us and begging for attention and love, one of the volunteers said something akin to, "I always tell people, 'You don't choose the cat; the cat chooses you.'"

I've thought a lot about this. Jasper definitely chose us. So did Grizzabella (through Milagro). [You can read about them here.] And Franki choosing us?

I sometimes wonder if Jasper and Trooper have pushed this cat into our path, saying, "Go to these two guys. They will help you. They will love you. We had such a happy home with them."

So we have to decide what to do. Obviously, we don't want to take a cat that belongs to somebody else. But the cat is being neglected, and there is a part of me that thinks, "If the people who this cat belongs to can't properly take care of it, do they deserve to have it?" But that isn't my call.

If we're meant to take Franki in permanently, I think we will know. I didn't really want a fourth cat again, but the more Franki comes around, the more I wonder if we're supposed to take her in.

For now, the compromise is this: we brought Franki in last night, and she stayed in Jasper's old room. She seemed content, although wary. And then we let her out this morning. And by the way, she is still hanging out on our back porch. Then if she is still here tonight, we'll bring her back in. If there are no signs anyone is missing her, we will go from there.

Of course, we would also have to get her checked out at the vet and make sure she's a good fit with the other girls. She has a rough side, and as is typical, I don't think either Chappy or Blondie will be wild about this new visitor. So we shall see.

If you are a praying person, pray for us that we will know what we are supposed to do with this cat.

And one more shot of Franki sleeping last night in Jasper's room:

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