It has been said many times over, “One picture is worth a thousand words.” The picture of Frankie Weiss on the flyleaf of “Frankie Weiss and Her Magic” is worth many thousands of words and that is what this beautiful Calico cat’s picture playing with the rope at the tender age of about six months relates to. 

Tales of Johnnie, Momo and Bobo

I still have thousands of words to go in telling the full story of our combined adventures since we merged into a loving family of three, Frankie, Johnnie and their Mr. Mom. Having written many little stories relating to the adoption of Frankie and Johnnie and my observations of them, I’m sorry to say I did not have the foresight to date each one. It would have made the compiling of this book so much easier.

  Never did I realize the pleasure these felines and writing about them would give me, as I embarked upon this adventure of putting words to their exploits in the Weiss household. Admittedly, Frankie because of her urge to explore and put her nose into everything, and her incessant love in wanting to be near me, gives me so much more material to write about than Johnnie, lady-like and laid back that she is.

  Please notice Johnnie is not wearing her diamond collar and cat tag on her picture featuring this chapter, it was somehow thrown off during the following escapade, but luckily, I found it and put it back, she did not resist. The only other female that I know that did not care for lots of diamonds was my wife, Evelyn, nor for furs! (True!)

Johnnie and The Plastic Bag

  In describing the following incident hopefully, you’ll appreciate the shock, scare and sadness I had, along with the feeling of guilt at its conclusion.

  I was in the kitchen doing something that is gone from my memory. Worry was the catalyst that made me forget. Suddenly, hearing a terrible ruckus behind my back, I turned around, a plastic bag flashed past me so fast, running to the downstairs rec room only to come racing upstairs again, and then into the bedroom. My mind had one thought, what uncontrollable mischief could have Frankie and Johnnie now gotten into.

  I could see Frankie was hurt as she ran up the steps from the ground floor and into the living room. She was limping, and favouring her right hindquarter as she squatted on the carpeted floor. I’m certain her heart was racing as never before. I could see no blood which was a relief.  My heart was racing, too, wondering what had happened to cause all this upset.  

Going into the bedroom, I found Johnnie literally squeezed under my dresser, only about three inches above the carpeted floor. She was totally stretched out and I’m more than convinced, out of sorts with the handle of a plastic bag trailing around her neck, the bag following her every move. Not able to get out of it, Johnnie began the ruckus that caused Frankie to injure her right side in trying to escape this strange monster wrapped around her companion’s neck.

  With a little difficulty, I was able to remove the handle of the plastic bag. She did not leave the safety of the dresser for quite a while. Offering no resistance, surely, she must have felt relieved by my removing it. When Johnnie finally came out of the bedroom she went right to her dry food bowl, I could see she was not injured; except for the initial shock of the bag handle hanging as an adornment, neck wise. Thankfully, in her urge to escape this mysterious trauma, Johnnie did not strangle herself.

  However, Frankie worried me.

  Going into the living room, Frankie was in the same position I left her, squatting. On my hands and knees, touching her right hindquarter I could not feel any broken bones, nor did she try to escape my probing fingers. Letting me massage her side, I felt somewhat relieved in the thought a muscle could have been strained in her flight to escape from the strange contraption trailing around Johnnie’s neck.

  Deciding to take her to the Animal Hospital the next morning to have her checked and possibly X-rayed, later that day, I again, massaged her right quarter. Frankie did enjoy my hand doing that rubdown. But she was walking with a decided limp and that was not good for Frankie or me.

  The next morning in looking at Frankie walking, I did not call the Hospital, deciding to wait a few more days, and wait to see how she felt. Possibly, it could be a muscle strain.

  The few days have now turned into a month or so, and Frankie is almost normal again, she leaps and does anything that calls for the use of her right hindquarter. Meanwhile, Johnnie suffered little more than a shock to her dignity.

  A lesson well learned, with guilt, no more plastic bags will be left lying around.

A Concert and A Heart Murmur

  You read earlier in this “Magic” that my nephew's two cats had ruined some of his furniture with their front claws. He went to the local SPCA in 1995, adopted a pair of brothers, one blue grey, the other could be a twin to my Johnnie, except that he’s male. So much for brotherly gene inheritance. I promised Steve, if he ever bought new furniture I would take Momo and Bobo, his cats to the Marlton Animal Hospital for their declawing. Shortly after the above incident, Steve called, he was buying a new leather sofa for the living room and did my offer still stand? I could not refuse him or go back on my word.

  Calling Dr. Rothberg, I explained the circumstances and got a 20% discount since I was the payee. Making a date for the declawing, which had to include an examination. I picked up Momo and Bobo to take them to the Animal Hospital. On the drive of about 30 miles from Steve’s condo, Momo gave me a concert I’ll never forget. From carrier to hospital, the meowing was constant. Bobo took the drive in stride.

  Leaving the cats overnight, the next morning I received a call; Bobo was fine, Momo was not declawed and in his examination he was found to have a heart murmur. An EKG/ultrasound was necessary before they’d dare proceed. What could I do? Another $300.00 would cover for the heart pictures. Driving over to the hospital, I took Bobo home as he was fine. A specialist would be called to give Momo the EKG/ultrasound procedure. Keep in mind, Momo is built like a powerful tank, his muscles have muscles. Go figure - a heart murmur. Making a long story short, he passed with flying colours and was declawed.

  On the way home, his thanks to me was another ear splitting meowing concert.

  I recently was over at my nephew’s place; both cats were no place to be seen, they have the habit of hiding under Steve’s king size bed when company comes. You’d think they would be glad to see their great Uncle since I paid for their stay and stuff at the Marlton Animal Hospital.

  Due to Momo’s heart murmur, extra hospital stay, food and medicines, etc., the original estimate of about $281.00 escalated to $631.00. And, this was with a 20% discount. When keeping cats, if you love and want them around for years sometimes their love and closeness does not come cheap. You may have unforeseen hospital bills concerning their health, but, neither Steve nor his Uncle would have it any other way. 

So far, the two sets of feline “cousins” have never met. Mainly because both Momo and Bobo had their front claws. Frankie with no teeth or claws and Johnnie clawless would be at their mercy should an altercation erupt. You see, both Frankie and Momo are dominant cats; I would not permit their meeting. Either cat could try to assert their dominance over the other, and more than likely, Frankie would be the ultimate victim, unable to defend her inborn instincts. I think Johnnie and Bobo would act like kissin’ cousins. Both have gentle dispositions, unlike Frankie and Momo, who want what they want when they want it. In their cat minds, they come first.

Steven lives alone in a Condo. Just as many other people, both male and female of all ages do, have cats as pets. As I’ve said in some of these pages, the love and comfort these felines give to us, their keepers, is immeasurable. We cat keepers are doubly blessed, we have their company and we have their love. You can have friends, relatives, and other relationships; but when you close your door and your only company are your animals, you are not alone. Their companionship pays many times over for their upkeep and veterinarian bills. You are only one of millions who are the keepers of these beautiful feline animals. Somewhere in my memory banks, I remember reading we keep more cats than dogs, something like fifty-six million depend upon the human being for their care and comfort. That figure alone, should make us proud we are part of a loving and caring society that give their hearts to this beautiful creature, the cat.


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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