When Sexy Frank showed up here several years ago, I was the one who insisted on befriending him.
Even after he attacked me, scratching my leg horribly and leaving it bloody, I still saw goodness in that mini-panther.
“Don’t tell Nennie,” I instructed Cole. “She will freak out and think I am going to get rabies, cat scratch fever, or something else.”
Cole agreed but didn’t like not telling the truth. “It’s not lying; it’s just not telling her what happened.”
“Isn’t that the same thing?” he asked.
I sighed. Sometimes, teaching your child all those morals and values can come back to bite you. But, I urged him not to say a word to his grandmother because I was on a feral feline rescue mission.
All I wanted to do was make this kittie, who obviously was not used to human kindness, feeling loved or safe.
During the few years he was outside, Sexy Frank’s palate went from whatever he could kill to Friskies and on to Sheba.
Realizing he loved Sheba, I ordered the biggest box of it I could find.
Of course, the best way to get a cat uninterested in something is to buy a large quantity and schedule a recurring autoship of it.
He then decided he preferred a broth and a stew before moving on to something even more expensive in a tube form that he eats probably six of daily.
When I was finally able to make him a domesticated mini-panther, I envisioned us cuddling and watching TV together.
That’s partly true.
He sometimes will curl up by my legs while I work, sleeping for hours.
At least until I forget he’s there and accidentally boop him, or, in the ultimate betrayal, Lamar comes in and he leaves me to go see him.
Lamar — who has never gone to stores in three different counties just to find Sexy Frank’s preferred nom noms —seems to be the feline’s person of choice.
I’m outraged. Truly.
Lamar has never cleaned his litter box. Never fed him.
Lamar couldn’t even pet him when Sexy Frank was an outdoor kittie; he would get scratched horribly.
Yet, now that he’s inside, Lamar is his new BFF.
Anytime I go somewhere and come home, Sexy Frank couldn’t care less. Usually, he doesn’t even wake up, unless I went to the store and he’s trying to see if I got his special food.
At most, he will wake up and look around, yawn, and fall back to sleep.
When Lamar comes home, he will not only wake up, but will run with the dogs to greet him.
The formerly feral-now-domesticated kittie will also jump in Lamar’s lap, curl up on his chest, and proceed to make biscuits as if Lamar is all he has ever loved or needed. He will contort his body to lean his head backwards against Lamar’s beard, rubbing his head on Lamar’s chin and face, purring loudly the whole time.
I don’t get biscuits. I don’t get head boops. I get a hard double tap to the head if I tell him he doesn’t look real because he’s so adorable.
Or, I get a black eye.
The night after we brought Mia home, and she was happily running towards her bowl of puppy food, Sexy Frank charged at her — partly to establish his dominance over the 5-pound pup, and largely because he was jealous she was getting all of Lamar’s attention.
I foolishly stepped in and picked him up while he was in attack mode, and he turned on me, fiercely and violently, and popped me in the eye, claws out. Three times.
I had to take a couple of days off work because my eye was so swollen, I couldn’t open it. For two weeks, I had a black eye and still have the scar.
A week later, he caused me to fall. Hard.
I was living room roadkill.
“It was Frank’s fault,” Cole said later. “I saw him run right in front of you and trip you, Mama.”
“He didn’t mean to,” I said.
“He’s trying to kill you,” Mama stated. “Plain and simple. Your cat is trying to kill you.”
She may be right.
“You know Lamar doesn’t have a Chewy account, right?” I ask the cat. “And if I die, he’s not driving all over the world to find your special food. You’ll be eating dog food like the girls.”
I got Sexy Frank’s little George Clooney-ish smirk in response. Of course, he eats dog food now, as he stands in Pumpkin’s bowl and eats her food while never breaking eye contact to show her he’s the boss.
But then, as I put his food on his plate, he rubs up against my legs and trills, looking up at me with so much love.
“He only loves you when you feed him,” Cole said. “He looked at me like that one night when I fed him.”
I know it’s true.
But for those few moments, I’m the center of his kittie universe and that’s all that counts.
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.