Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fry (Part III)

Update: On June 20th, 2015 our cat Fry ran away and has not yet returned. He's been reported to the nearby animal shelters, he's microchipped, and he's easily identified due to his folded ear following his surgery last fall (see pic below). If he is found they should be able to return him to us. While we have not completely lost hope of his returning, we think it unlikely we'll see him again due to his chronic health issues and complete inability to look after himself in the wild after a lifetime of being a spoiled house cat. We think he would have returned home to us by now if he could have. At this point we figure he's either learned how to fend for himself, has been adopted by another family who assumed an uncollared cat must be a stray, or he's resting in peace. We're grateful for the nearly 9 years we had with him, and we hope whereever he is now, he's happy. Here's more of his story.

Although we never objected to our cats being indoor/outdoor, they were raised exclusively as indoor cats due to living in apartments for the first 7 years after adopting them. Fry was always more interested in the outdoors than the other two, often darting out the door when we'd open it, so we decided to let him go outside for short periods after moving into our first house. Oscar would occasionally take him outside while he worked on the yard, and Fry would typically wander around, never straying more than a few house lengths away, and would always return.
Oscar had recently put down red and black mulch surrounding our house, which we could immediately tell Fry hated. He refused to walk on it, and instead ran along the stones leading towards the back of our house. There's a fence back there with enough room for a cat to squeeze under. There's a big grassy area belonging to the complex behind us, which would have been a lot more interesting to Fry than our mulchy yard. We're guessing he squeezed under the fence but didn't have a strong enough sense of smell to find his way home.

Although we could tell Fry longed to be outside, we hesitated to let him wander around freely due to his health issues. Fry was diagnosed with chronic post nasal drip several years ago, which we attempted to medicate him for only to have it fail miserably. After putting a lot of effort into getting a pill down Fry's throat, he gagged it up 30 seconds later, and he would fight and struggle against the nasal drops too. This condition makes his sense of smell pretty terrible and makes him more sluggish than the other cats since he can't intake a full breath. This bodes terribly for him being able to find his way home, hunt, or defend himself, which is why we would only give him an hour or so of supervised outdoor time every so often. Usually Oscar could keep a pretty good eye on him, but since Tyler was out in the yard with him as well that day, Oscar must have been watching Tyler during the brief moment it took Fry to climb under the fence. We searched for him, called for him repeatedly, and left several things that had his smell out on our porch, but no luck yet. A couple of neighbor kids claim to have seen him, but as there's a black cat that wanders around our neighborhood daily, we think they might just be mixing Fry up with him/her.

Fry was definitely the cat that gave us the most trouble and cost us the most money. I have to admit it's nice not to have to worry about if he's going to pee outside the litter box today, and if so, where or on what? He also had a tendency to puke a lot since he'd often eat too much at once. There were many times that I was frustrated and wished he would just run away (particularly after he peed on my piano legs), but then when he actually did, I wished he would come back. We miss him a lot, particularly how social and unafraid he was around Tyler and other young children. What makes me most sad is that Tyler won't remember him :(. He's probably already forgotten about him.

Original post from early 2011:

One thing I love about Fry is how well he puts up with the abuse of children. When my Nephew was less than 2 years old, he would try to grab at Fry, sometimes grabbing his face and pulling. Fry obviously didn't like it, but would put up with it without retaliating. He'll run, of course, if kids are hurting him. But he won't hiss or attack back, and if the kids are being nice and petting him, he'll spread out and enjoy it. And generally if you pull his tail, he'll just sit down so he doesn't have to feel the pull.

Fry had some funny habits as a kitten. He loved to stick his head inside glasses. He hated being touched by water, but he sure loved being around it. One time he ran across the toilet while my husband was urinating and he got right in the middle of the stream. That didn't bother him, but the immediate bath we gave him did!

Fry really likes drippy faucets or any other source of continuous water.

He also used to drink out of the toilet all the time. He'd much prefer to drink from anything besides his water dish. It can be annoying though, since he'll walk around the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink and drink from their water instead of his own clean water.

My husband used to spin Fry around on the floor. He'd hold him around the chest and spin him a few times. It was funny to watch him get dizzy, and he seemed to like it too since he'd keep coming back for more. Leela, however, was even funnier the only time Oscar tried doing it with her. She flopped around like a fish trying to get away from the dizziness. It was clear she hated it so he never tried it again.

Another hilarious thing Fry did was eat a piece of dental floss and then not quite poop it out. I walked out into the family room to see Leela chasing Fry and slapping his butt. When I got closer I saw the dental floss was hanging halfway out! Leela was trying to play with the string in Fry's butt! I started laughing hysterically and made Oscar finish pulling it out.

One thing I love about petting Fry when he's lying down is, that instead of pawing you or some other tangible object, he actually paws the air. It's hilarious and looks like he's trying to swim. It's too bad we don't have a video, but he's doing "the swim" in this picture.

Though Fry's not much of a bed cat, he LOVES the couch. He's on it constantly, and he's definitely the cat to love while you're watching TV. Both he and Leela love their bellies rubbed (which is definitely not true of most cats), and they'll display them proudly for rubbing. All of our cats make good vibrating neck pillows, but Fry is the best. I call him my Frylow. You can rest your head on his belly while you're on the couch and he'll purr up a storm. His intense purr is pretty funny, too. It sounds like somebody's trying to blow bubbles underwater as quickly as they possibly can.

One time Fry even seemed to sense that my dad didn't want him near while he was visiting. My dad is allergic to cats, and while he was there Fry would sit on the opposite side of the couch. One time while my dad was away from the couch, Fry went and sat in my dad's corner. Dad looked at him and said "now we had an arrangement," and immediately Fry went back to his own corner. I thought that was too cute!

Fry really, really likes cardboard and paper, and he jumps into all kinds of containers and suitcases. He immediately goes after any boxes that come our way, and beware of leaving any papers anywhere in the house since Fry will sit on them. I've had many an important school paper get wrinkled thanks to him. As you can see from the picture below Fry will choose a piece of paper (our apartment newsletter), over something much more comfy that's right next to him.

He's a nut for paper bags. We generally get plastic, so he relishes the joy of the rare paper bag.

A couple of times we brought a friend's cat over to "catsit" and Fry got mean. He became a total stalker with a pretty vicious growl and a nasty hiss. He's even been known to find a toy he likes and take it into the corner to hiss and growl at it. It's nice that even though he has that mean streak in him, he doesn't use it with us or even with strangers.

Fry has found some interesting things to sit on over the years. He looked adorable at Halloween on top of this pumpkin.

We got these place mats as a Christmas gift and Fry went right to them before we even noticed he was there.

He couldn't get enough of this large Christmas gift for Oscar. He got more pleasure out of it than Oscar ever did!

Just the other day he decided to sit on this tiny hot pad that got left on the floor.

This was a cute Fry sleeping spot from the other day.

Wherever he sits is going to get covered with white and black hair. He definitely sheds the most of all of our cats. This probably wasn't the best thing for us to let happen to our brand new white blanket, but he just looked so cute that I didn't have the heart to move him.

Fry is at his cutest when he's sleeping or cuddling.

I love these cute pictures of Fry cuddling with Nibbler.

I'm convinced that Fry would be a lot more boring if he didn't have other cats around. Watching cats together is so much more fun than having a single cat.

I really don't know why anyone would choose to only have one cat if they could have additional animals as well.

They keep each other company,

They get a lot better exercise (they climb everywhere when they're chasing each other)

It's cute to watch them play together,

and they just look adorable when they cuddle together.

I'm really glad we got Fry and Leela together.

They're my cute "origi-cats."

It's amazing how strong a cat's senses are. One time we saw Fry and Leela playing intently in the dark. When we turned on the light we saw it was a very small beetle that was giving them the time of their lives. It was the toy that never stopped. Especially because this beetle would play dead and then would start moving as soon as it was batted at by the cats.

On the downside, though, Fry definitely gets sick more than Leela or Nibbler put together. He sneezes pretty much the entire winter long. He also vomits a lot since he'll eat his food too quickly, and he's our only cat who gets hairballs.

But the worst of Fry are his litter box habits. I've read that many other cats are like this, but Fry does not like to pee and poop in the same box. He'll find somewhere else to pee if he doesn't think his box is clean enough for him. Sometimes he uses the bathtub, which frankly isn't so bad since I can always just turn on the water and wash it down. But he's been known to pee on the bathroom floor, or on paper or cardboard that he finds in another room. He destroyed a couple of my music books once since I'd left one open and he sat and peed on it. And we had to pay for our carpet in our last apartment since he'd peed on his cardboard scratch toy and gotten pee all over the carpet. I'm not sure how to completely break him of the habit. We try to be good about keeping the boxes clean, but we can't always know when one of the other cats decides to poop in his pee box. I've heard that the best thing you can do is try to reward your cat when they do what's right, but he always seems scared of us when we see him use the litter box. He bolts as soon as he notices us, so I don't exactly have time to reward him.

Fortunately Leela's litter box habits are not nearly as bad, though more disgusting to clean up. Only once did she have an accident, and that was when we lit the fire at our first apartment in Renton. We didn't clean the ashes immediately after putting it out, and she peed in them. But I can't fault her for that. It's easy to imagine why she thought that was just another litter box. Her only annoying litter box habit is sometimes pooping off the box. If the box is getting dirty she'll sometimes position herself in a clean spot in the corner, but then hike up her butt and poop over the edge onto the tile. I really try to keep the boxes clean to prevent her from doing that. It's much more annoying to clean up than when Fry pees in the bathtub.

Next up is Leela (Part IV)

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