From the time our eyes met that fateful day, November 27, 1997, your “Magic” started my new life.
I waited a long week for you to recuperate from being spayed before taking you home. This book is a labour of love, spanning the years, describing our lives together. We had many more ups than downs. That first year, you and Johnnie were growing into maturity and I was getting many lessons in feline love and behaviour. I realized that I had much to learn about two frisky, energetic, half-grown, beautiful cats that suddenly became my “adopted” children that helped recharge a stilled spirit.
As I opened the pet carrier door on December 4, 1997, you and your companion cat Johnnie, entered the living room of your new home. The lonely and sad world I’d been living in for the past six months changed immediately. You were now my “children,” and I became a father, in the least, a Mr. Mom. Having a new feline family to take care of, admittedly, I was apprehensive; what did I know about taking care of a couple cats adopted that morning? But, it suddenly dawned on me the house would no longer echo with the stillness of being empty and lonely. Now, you two half-grown cats would be my companions and my responsibility in making sure you and Johnnie were given every opportunity to grow into healthy, happy and loving, playful felines.
The great writer, Hemingway said, “Write what you know.” Following his advice, about six years ago I began writing little vignettes regarding our togetherness. Some of “Frankie Weiss and Her Magic” came from those stories. Frankie, that was before the unrelenting disease of gingivitis caused the removal of all your teeth. But, that loss never detracted from the look of your beautiful feline face. Even toothless, you are now a world famous Calico.
The love you show for me is beyond question; and in the way you greet me when I open the door…non-cat people, maybe even those with cats, not as lucky as me, might think I’m making this up. It makes no difference which door I come in from outside, upstairs or downstairs, you are already into your ritual of greeting and wanting me to rub your exposed belly and beautiful head. Your need for my touch sends me through a galaxy of feelings that express my joy and good fortune in your closeness and happiness. I know many dogs that love their owners; you as a cat can never be owned, rather, I’m the person who keeps you. A “keeper” in the sense that your needs are taken care of to the best of my ability in showing my appreciation for being who you are: Frankie Weiss, my true feline love and a most beautiful Calico.
Frankie, in return, you give me the most precious thing you possess and you give it up without restrictions; “your unbridled love.” Even as I was typing this line you came into the room holding the bear in your mouth and vocalized that special sound in wanting me to touch you. The bear is your special symbol of letting me know it represents all the years between us and that it was your most precious toy that once gave me so much pleasure in seeing you toss it around when you had your teeth. Now toothless, by your actions, I realize it is your talisman denoting the love we share.
I was thinking about Johnnie, your companion cat, she will come running to me when I call to her. In an offbeat way, she reminds me of the logo of Nipper, the mixed breed terrier, listening to his “Master’s Voice” on the Old Victor Phonograph records. It makes me wonder how many cats will come running to their keeper (not Master) when called unless their biological clock was working and it was food time. Yet, Frankie, as many times I’ve called to you, you refuse, even as often as you show your incessant love for me and want my closeness or touch. Yet, when you hear me open a can of cat food your presence becomes almost immediate. I do not know which is stronger, your sense of smell or hearing. Your biological clock does not work in this instance because when I’ve opened extra food, to make sure you would not go hungry, you would at least come to have a smell and not partake of that food. Johnnie’s dry food bowl is no problem; she may hear me filling it and will almost always come into the kitchen to investigate or just to have a look.
The month of May 2004, you will be seven years old, about 50 years old in the human reckoning of feline age. You and Johnnie have many toys, but still, your best toy is Mr. Mom. Holding a yard stick with a piece of twine tied around the edge, moving it around as I try to hide it under cushions, inside bags, or under newspapers on the floor. Your profound amusement is more than evident.
I’m sorry I do not have a video camera to record your bodily actions and your many facial expressions as you attempt to grasp the trailing twine. You are blessed with a great benevolence of charm, as the beauty of your feline grace; along with your big black saucer-like eyes betray the enjoyment in playing with the twine and your Mr. Mom. He delights in your playfulness and that of your housemate Johnnie. Johnnie will often sit by as you go through these enjoyable antics. She waits for her turn to be played with, knowing she’s second fiddle in your cat’s mind and as well in hers.
It’s worth repeating, just in case you did not already know it; many of the stories I have written about you and Johnnie have found their way to a number of web sites and Animal Shelters across the Continents of the world. Animal Shelters and Rescue Sites have even asked for my permission to use the pictures of you and Johnnie in advertising their good works. And, in caring for and finding adopters or saving the lives of stray felines left to fend for themselves by unthinking humans.
Your ‘Magic’ story has been published in serial form on two websites; one written by John Tyrrell in Canada called: www.CalicoScootz.com and the other, by Pauline Dewberry, in Kent, England, which is called: www.thedailymews.com
Frankie, I’m just about coming to the end of my letter to you.
From the day our eyes first met, you will never know what an influence you and Johnnie have had on my life. The six months previous to our meeting was a downdraft of sorrow in my existence, I had lost my wife of thirty-nine years. Living the life of a widower, the house reverberated in loneliness and in the sadness of being alone until you and Johnnie came along. The change was dramatic as a hailstorm in the middle of summer. My entire demeanour took on a fantastic change the day you and Johnnie were let out of the pet carrier into your new home. With your presence, I entered into a new world …this world holding the much needed promise of a happier and fuller life.
Frankie, the miracle of your “Magic” had begun!
As much as a human can love another animal, other than his own species, Frankie, I love you and Johnnie; you both have given me the need of a love every human being deserves in living out his lifetime on this earth.
Many photos of you and Johnnie are featured throughout this book as a testament to our living and sharing our love for one another. I can never forget the first picture I ever took of you, it’s more than priceless.
May the miracle continue for years to come!
© Daniel M Weiss 2003 - 2005
You can read more of Dan's stories about Frankie and Johnnie here: