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Sudie Crouch: The object of Frank’s affection giving in one cuddle at a time
Black cat
Photo by Clement Falize, Unsplash

Sexy Frank, the former feral cat turned domesticated mini-panther, has managed to charm all he meets. 

The vet declared him quite handsome and gave him extra treats as she admired his fluffy cheeks and entrancing eyes. 

Mama has become smitten with my kitten, agreeing that second to her beloved Bennie, who passed away 10 years ago, Frank is quite amazing. 

My uncle, on the other hand, tries to create a conflict between my tom and his cat, Probie. 

“Probie would show Frank who’s boss,” my uncle taunts. 

“Frank’s a lover, not a fighter,” I tell him. “And Frank wouldn’t give Probie a second thought.”

This is what we’ve become. People who engage in word wars over whose cat is superior. 

Even my husband has fallen in love with the feline. 

Sexy Frank has everyone wrapped around his paw. 

Well, everyone that is, except for the object of his affection, Pumpkin the Border collie. 

The love my plushy cat has for my pup is precious. He tries to cuddle with her to no avail. All he gets is growls and snarls. 

I try to tell him not to take it personally; she did that to Ava, the German shepherd, for two years before she finally realizing the dog was here to stay. 

Frank has even tried to make her jealous to get her attention, making googly eyes at Ava. 

The plan went well until Ava, like the rest of us, was drawn in by his George Clooney-like looks and Frank realized she was 10 times his size. 

He promptly gave her the paws and a deep hiss, leaving the ginormous pup confused and heartbroken. 

His next flirtatious attempt was with Doodle, but the pittie-mix is nobody’s fool. 

She wasn’t falling for his purrs and trills, nor the nose boops he tried to offer through the baby gate. 

Frank tried new approaches to romance the Border collie, covering her food after covering his own, which only served to make her upset. He has tried to wrap his tail around her as she tries to herd him. 

While she slept upside down on the couch with her head hanging off in true Border collie form, Frank thought it would be nice to go nuzzle her. 

Pumpkin did not find the gesture as adorable as we did. The sweet feline has made every effort to garner her affection, but Pumpkin is slow to warm up to others. 

She has only recently started tolerating Ava — I wouldn’t go as far as to she liked her pack mate, because I don’t think she does. But she allows the shepherd to share a home and occasionally a couch with her. 

She was a reluctant surrogate mother to Doodle, after Venus, our resident mother of everything, including turtles, passed away shortly after Doodle was rescued.

A lot of her issues, we have surmised, come from her being the ultimate herder — she is a Border collie-German shepherd mix after all –– and is relegated to being the good dog, the one that minds, the one that makes the others behave, and now, is the love interest of one fluffy Casanova-ing cat. 

Initially, Pumpkin was taken back by the presence of Frank being inside. 

Frank had thrown a lot of shade when he was outside, giving deep growls and hisses anytime the pups approached. He was known to take on several raccoons twice his size at once and winning.

Pumpkin had a valid reason for being a bit standoffish when Frank moved in; and Frank’s best defense is offense, as he let everyone know on no uncertain terms he was still as street smart as ever.  

But then for some reason, Frank cast his attention to the high-strung, slightly neurotic pup and has been vying for her affection ever since. 

Nothing seemed to make her soften. Until Lamar tried to trim the pup’s nails. 

Lamar slid the muzzle over the dog’s snout and gently took a paw in his hand, clippers poised in the other. Pumpkin gave a low growl of confusion and disapproval. Lamar dropped her paw quickly. 

“Frank’s not having this,” he said. The cat was on the other side, claws extended, holding on to Lamar’s arm to protect his beloved from the inevitable. 

Lamar eased the muzzle off of her under Frank’s watchful eye. The pup wasn’t up for his Pepe Le Pew displays of affection, but she would accept his chivalrous protection.

Later, as Pumpkin slept on the couch, Frank saw his golden opportunity and gently, softly eased beside her, curling up against her back legs. He settled in for his nap, content to finally be with his love. 

An hour or so passed before Pumpkin stretched in her sleep, bumping her legs up against him. She opened her eyes to see Frank. 

Instead of growling or trying to push him away, she let out the biggest sigh I have ever heard a dog sigh. One of just utter and complete resignation. 

She would allow the cuddle. But doggone it, she wasn’t going to be happy about it. 

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.