Wednesday, September 4, 2013
It is with sadness that I write that our cat Frankie has died.
She was 13 years old and died of natural causes.
Born in 2000, named for the Michelle Pfeiffer role in the movie Frankie and Johnny, Frankie was originally adopted by Tricia, and was not all that fond of me at first (Frankie, not Tricia). But over time I won her over and in her last years, she adopted me and became “my cat.”
During the first 12 years of her life she lived with us and one or two other kitties in Northern California and Oregon.
She spent the last year of her life in the sun of Northern San Diego with Donna and I, as the sole kitty-in-residence, i.e. Princess – with full attention, food, treats and toys.
Easily the smartest of the bunch, she was generally shy and fraidy-cat-ish…though she got better about this once the boy cats were no longer around. She could be social when she wanted to.
A few memories come to mind:
She liked to hide outside in the evenings, making me go find her with a flashlight, under some bush, before she would consent to be carried in.
A friend sitting with her and saying “Wow, What a Fat Cat!” – out loud – followed by Frankie taking a serious swipe at that person – just like she heard and understood the comment.
She did have a temper and could show it when provoked. Occasionally by people, frequently by the two boy cats she lived with.
She loved to hang over things and let her paws dangle.
She was very chatty and social – constantly talking and commenting on things – generally of the “where’s my food, more treats and cheese”, variety.
She liked to hang out on the stairs and play tag when we went up and down.
Those of us who knew her remember her habit of straddling the wide arms of chairs. Holding on like she was keeping the chair from floating off.
She liked rock and roll music and would hang out, spread over the arms of the couch, listening with us to old favorites of the 60s – 80s.
She liked to lick noses and hands, and in my case she liked to bite them as well.
During her last year she became a lap cat:
She developed serious medical problems at the end and it quickly became clear to us that she knew she was dying. It ended up being as quick and as painless on all of us as possible.
She also seems to have had enough “kitty personal power” to chose the time and place of her death and who would see her off.
She chose a week when Donna and I were both at home with minimal work duties – a most rare occurrence – and so were able to devote full attention to her during her last days and hours.
She died easily, without suffering, in the care of those who loved her.
It’s impressive the deep impact and effect such a seemingly small, 10 pound bundle of fur, claws, nose, grumble and appetite can have.
She is missed.
If you would like to take a moment to enjoy some photos of her over the years: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dcyj50hb69e050k/IBA50bc1p7
Here’s to Frankie! Such a sweet, quintessential pussycat. I’m better for having known her and believe she would say the same.