Frank arrived in early spring 2014, acting tough, showing off his man pride with tail held high. I’ve never met a stray like Frank, which is why, of all the 100+ strays I’ve rescued throughout my adult lifetime, I’ve picked Frank to feature first on my Kept by Cats Rescue series.
When Frank first arrived in my yard he was determined to destroy Joshua, a sickly ginger stray who later passed from feline leukemia. Frank was Angry with a capital A-- and determined to kick someone’s tail, mine included. Seven years later I still have vivid memories of battling Frank with a broom to keep him from ripping into Joshua. I kept sweeping Frank back while poor Josh cowered behind me. Finally, Frank turned on me, but again I swept him back until finally…with a huge sigh…he slumped to the ground. I asked if he wanted lunch. He did, and trotted dog-like beside me up to the house.
A couple months after he arrived, Frank started pushing past me into the house. I was surprised that my indoor cats accepted him without drama — especially Herman and Opie who are President and Vice President of the Wondepurr Drama Club. Then I found out my pet sitter, Michelle, was responsible, as he'd sweet-talked her into letting him inside. She didn’t realize he was supposed to be 100% outside.
Frank was a charmer, alright. Still is! My indoor cats all like him, which tells me Frank totally understood his outside behavior as a rough and tumble fighter would not be acceptable indoor behavior.
Opie and Jack invited Frank to join their Bromance group
We lost our Buddy in 2013 to a stroke. He was 24 and had been diabetic for 10 years. Looking so much like Buddy, it was easy for Ray and I to love Frank — even when he chomped on our arms.
Herman never objected to him joining our family. The girls – Peaches, Gidget, and Chauncie Marie all adored him. But it was Dori with whom Frank had the best relationship, almost from the start. She loves to wrassle, and although she’s half his size, Frank is gentle with her, even while throwing her to the ground...unlike our resident AssRabbit.
Eventually the chomping stopped. Frank realized he no longer had to fight for a place to live. He even joined Herman, Ray and I on our nightly walks, trotting easily beside us. Whenever a car went by Frank would move to the grass and lie down. Another clue as to his life before us… although when we lived at our old home (we moved to Florida in July) we would see him lying on his back in the middle of the street, sunning himself. Idiot!
I had envisioned traveling with Frank, who is very much a cat-dog. But he has severe motion sickness. Going to the vet requires the use of Ray's old van with a tarp on the floor, a litter box, a roll of paper toweling, a couple plastic bags and lots of air freshener. Even riding in Herman’s stroller makes Frank nauseous. So you can imagine the hell he went through when we drove sixteen hours from Memphis to Florida in July. Poor guy!
As the years have passed, Frank is now a full time indoor cat, although we have a pool cage where he roams leisurely before flopping down to work on his tan lines.
And more often than not, he crawls into bed to lie between us. I’ve never seen a cat who sleeps so deeply. Once asleep, he’s out until morning. My husband thinks Frank couldn’t have slept like that while homeless. But now…
When Frank arrived in my yard, I wasn't in the market for another cat. I already had ten ex-strays. But I believe God sends me those who aren't wanted by others. In fact, Chevy can thank Frank for the patience I now have dealing with hard-bitten strays. Chevy arrived in 2017, and it's taken me three years to micro-manage his wildness so that he now resides indoors with us, under strict supervision. But Frank taught me the promise of never giving up will eventually be rewarded.
I consider every member of the Wonderpurr Gang a Blessing. And I'm especially proud of the work I've done to resolve their unknown issues, enabling them to live Happily Ever After... because I need them as much as they need me.
Take a chance on a stray, even if he seems impossible at first. You have no idea the reward that awaits when they finally trust you, and give in to your offer of a Forever Home.
Have you ever adopted a stray with an unknown past? I'd love to hear about it in the comments. And thank you so much for following me from Wordpress over here to Blogger. Your friendship means the world to me.