Hello, I’m Frankie Weiss. After much coaxing, Mr. Mom is finally letting me write my own chapter, as if he hasn't already praised me enough to the high Heavens. 

Pretty JohnnieFrankie writes in her own words

As the reader, you should hear from me, personally. I do not have to brag, you all know by now that I’m not only toothless but also Mr. Mom thinks I’m the world’s prettiest Calico. But, there’s a lot you may not know about me.

 Here goes; I was born at the New Jersey Race Track near Atlantic City, that’s where dumb people go to the Casinos to lose their hard earned money playing the slot machines or other table games in which the house has a huge advantage when played.  My Mr. Mom goes, too. He’s a crap shooter, (dice player to the uninitiated) who seldom wins, but he says,  “If you can’t afford to lose, don’t play.” I say, “Don’t play.” You see; I went to Cat College. (Not bragging.) I graduated Magna Cum Laude, and was Valedictorian of the graduating class. So I know a thing or two.

 I was captured when about four and one-half months old and was taken to the Marlton Animal Hospital to be adopted. When Mr. Mom walked into the room filled with other caged cats ready for adoption, I heard him walk in and turned around. Our eyes met, instantly, it was love at first sight. Looking into his blue eyes, with my big black ones, my heart began beating faster, and I felt like I had butterflies in my stomach. That’s what instant love does to you. I was wiped out in hope that he’d adopt me. Well, you know he did and that he, too, fell in love with me at that instant. I was lucky he did or I’d be pushing up daisies by now. You all know about the gingivitis that I inherited from one of my parents. Not only did their genes give me beauty, it gave Mr. Mom and me a hard and long year and half of suffering. Honestly, I think it hurt him more than me. And, I cost him a lot of money, still it’s much better than losing it tossing a pair of dice.

 Before I forget, the smell of the horse stables and barn really was not too pleasant an odour. The Weiss house is much more inviting and better suited to my taste in life.

I get the best of cat food, not the scraps or ugly mice that I captured and killed even at my young, tender age. I was pretty self-sufficient. My parents did not raise a stupid cat like my companion, Johnnie.  Sometimes, I think she’s afraid of her own shadow. However, I must admit she’s a pretty Tabby and even though I boss her around, I love her very much and am glad she’s a part of my life.

I heard the head boss of the Animal Hospital asking our new Mr. Mom about our future, being house cat or cats with outside privileges, Mr. Mom, already smitten with us, did not want us to stray and he said, “House cats.” Dr. Rothberg, head honcho at the Hospital, suggested removing our front claws (she was over to our pretty house once) and felt our claws would rip the nice things apart; she also suggested spaying us, resulting in adding about three years to our lives. Mr. Mom agreed with her suggestions.

To this day, I know, he’s sorry he did not allow me to have one litter of kittens; I could never make him a proud grandparent. He would have kept one of my offspring. I only know I would have made a wonderful mother, full of love and compassion for my children and I think they’d be beautiful, too!

I’m now a few months over six years of age, but I want to go back about three years ago and relate an incident I had forgotten about until our Mr. Mom wrote it as one of the many stories he put down on paper about Johnnie and me. It’s about a toothpick.

  Johnnie and I, being busybodies, as most cats are, had to know what Mr. Mom was doing behind the closed bathroom door. So we used our bodies and paws to bang on the door in an effort to get him to open it. He could see one pure white paw push under the door opening - that was mine.

  Loving us as he does, what harm could be done if he let us have our way? Upon opening the door, we immediately sat down on our haunches on the tile floor, facing one another. Mr. Mom had just finished lunch and was using a toothpick to clean between his teeth. I’m not sure, but I may have had my teeth removed at this time.

  Never under estimate a cat’s intelligence, we knew Mr. Mom loved us and we took every advantage possible of that fact. Johnnie and I had him twisted around our pretty paws. It was not the first time we felines would use our feminine wiles to get him to do what we wanted done. It would not be the last time, either. 

  While using the toothpick, it fell from his hand and landed before my face. Suddenly, I invented a new game.  I’d pick up the toothpick in my mouth, drop it, and then move it around with my right paw. I did this over and over until finally tiring of my new game I let it lie on the floor tile block. Johnnie thought it was her turn to try the new game I had just invented. As she moved it around with her left front paw, what happened next took both Mr. Mom and Johnnie by surprise. Quick as a flash, I raised my right paw and slapped Johnnie across the left side of her face. In my mind, I was just asserting my authority. Johnnie had no business in playing with my new toy, the toothpick.

  Mr. Mom was flabbergasted at my action and at the same time could not stop laughing at what he had just seen transpire.  Poor Johnnie immediately stopped her play with the toothpick. After all, she was only second fiddle to me, the boss.

  My temper and this display of action was another step in Mr. Mom’s cat education in living with two delightful four legged bundles of fur...to always expect the unexpected.

  To this day, his adopted “children” Johnnie and I, continue to amaze our loving keeper, Mr. Mom. 

  What our Mr. Mom did not know was that later, I felt guilty for what I’d done to Johnnie and, in our personal cat language, I apologized. She accepted my apology and we began to groom each other’s fur. Our Mr. Mom still has much to learn about feline behaviour.

  I must relate the following incident in my own words before Mr. Mom adds it to one of his stories about living with his two cats. I was the main participant in this story, but it was his fault he left the door open enabling me to run away. (I still think he forgot to remember about this escapade.)

  Somewhere in this “Magic” story Mr. Mom mentioned he fixes and collects old watches and clocks. He also belongs to a club that has about six meetings a year. They display their goodies, buy, sell and trade up to a certain hour and then they all have a lunch prepared by the hotel where the shows are held. Anyhow, some years ago, while loading horology merchandise into the trunk of his car, he left the ground door open.

  What’s a cat supposed to do? Especially a cat as smart and curious as me, I ran out to the side lawn of our neighbour’s house.  Mr. Mom tried to catch me.  Fat chance! I’m too fast for him. He called to me but I was more than happy for the opportunity to get out of the house and do some exploring on our back lawns. In another story, he may have told you about the birds, squirrels and rabbits and other animals that live in that area.

  I put Mr. Mom in a position where he had to take a chance and leave me to be on my own for six hours as he had time restraints and had to leave to drive to where the show was being held. If I’d known he’d be gone that length of time, I would have never run away causing him worrisome misgivings in letting me stay outside until he returned home.

  Even though I was on my own for the next six hours or so, I must admit I had a good time running over and exploring our neighbour’s side and back lawns. The only trouble was I did not realize I’d get hungry and would not eat until Mr. Mom came home from his show. I was sitting on our next-door neighbour’s steps, (his name is John, but he likes to be called Jack), anyway, he called to me and wanted to pet me. I thought he wanted to capture and hold me until my Mr. Mom returned, so nothing doing, I ran away.

  The hours I spent on my own, reliving a part of my very young life, as a four month old was pretty good. I chased birds, but could never catch any; besides what would I do if I caught one? Being toothless, I could not kill and eat one even though I was hungry. The few rabbits I saw kept their distance, I was never close enough to cause them any trouble. Besides, they had underground escape routes too small for me to get into.

  The squirrels I saw were the best high wire walkers in the world. They’d walk from a pole strung with wires next to our house, to the corner house. In fact, they almost ran that distance, that’s how good they were. Never making a false step.

  No one can ever tell me that nature does not provide for all the animals in its care.  Birds, rabbits, squirrels all have their built-in defence mechanisms, just as do all the animals that inhabit this world. I’d like to think the only exception to self-preservation is mother love. Even that is part of nature’s scheme in dealing with the animals it puts on this green earth. I’m inclined to say, “Mother love” is the world’s greatest incentive.

  Frankly, I was pretty tired and hungry from the running around I did. I dared not catnap for fear of being attacked by some animal or human who might want to capture me to take home as their new pet. I loved my Mr. Mom no end, and would never want to wind up in someone’s house. Even though I had my cat tag with the name of the Marlton Animal Hospital and phone number on it, please remember, I’m a pretty Calico, and I would not put it past some people to want to keep me. Fate made sure Mr. Mom and I would meet and we’d be a comfort to each other. He in saving my life, and me in bringing him much love and relieving the loneliness he felt upon losing his wife. I know we were meant for each other. We had our insights that memorable day November 27, 1997, it was meant to be. It turned out to be the happiest day of my six-year life, so far.

  In writing my chapter, it’s time I mentioned Johnnie the Tabby, my companion cat. Though you know I dominate her, I can’t help it, it’s part of my natural instincts, I do love her; she knows it. I guess that’s why she puts up with me and cares for me the same way. I think she’s beautiful. In fact, I prevailed upon Mr. Mom to feature her picture as the cover page to this chapter. Johnnie eats something called Dental Diet dry food. I guess it keeps her teeth healthy; she has a full set, nice and clean, too.

  She loves our Mr. Mom just as much as I do, but is more reserved than me. She’s a bit quieter in showing him her love. She’ll sit near him on the bed, just to keep him company, whereas I’d be climbing all over him, especially on his lap or I’d be tapping his arm like crazy to show me some attention while he’s at the computer.

  I lie down on my side to greet him, while Johnnie will sit by and wait for him to touch her; and she will never fail in showing her love. We have so many differences in our feline personalities, I’m an extrovert and she’s an introvert and will hide at the slightest foreign noise. Not me, I’m too curious, I want to know what’s going on in the Weiss household at all times. Even when catnapping, I’m not fully asleep, just closing my eyes.

  In summing up my chapter, the best words I can think of is, “That we are a loving threesome and that in sharing our feelings, we three have the best of all worlds.”

  Please do me a favor, take another look at the lead-in picture of this chapter, “Isn’t Johnnie a beautiful Tabby?”



In the Middle of a World...

"In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

Roseanne Anderson

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