Lisa Kern

Lisa Kern
Pennsylvania, US
March 28
I'm a mom of three boys, a needy dog, and an insolent cat. When I'm not writing, vacuuming up pet hair, or cleaning pee off the toilet seat, I like to fantasize about jeans that actually fit and an all-you-can-eat-chocolate-and-cheese diet. Welcome to my party.


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DECEMBER 29, 2011 7:44AM

Adventures in Cat Rescuing

Rate: 26 Flag

For those of you following along at home, we still have FrodoJoseKitty, the stray cat who showed up at our door a couple of weeks ago.  We made the decision that no matter how long he stays with us, he needs to be neutered.  Concern about pet overpopulation combined with the overwhelming stink of an intact male tomcat made this an easy decision. 


Last Thursday night, we had to take him to the veterinarian’s office for his pre-neuter exam. 


Everyone in my family conveniently had something else to do that night.  Everyone except my youngest son, Evan, that is.


            “So, Evan, are you going to help me take FrodoJoseKitty to the vet tonight?”


            “I guess so.  What do I have to do?”


            “Well, for one thing, I need help getting him into the cat carrier.”  This was particularly angst-worthy because the carrier was a cardboard one that opened from the top.  It would be exactly like putting a cat in a box because we would be, technically, putting a cat in a box.  I was not looking forward to it at all.


            I could tell that Evan was already regretting his decision to help me.  “How are we going to get him in there?  Won’t he scratch us?”


            “I think if you open the flaps and I lower him in, it will be OK. “  I tried to sound as convincing as possible.  I didn’t want Evan skipping out on me.


When the time came to put the cat in the carrier, I put on my heaviest coat and longest gloves so that I’d be fully covered in case he tried to scratch me.  I considered wearing one of my husband Dan’s full-face welding helmets but decided that might be a bit excessive.   


Evan and I brought the box into the room where the cat was and put it on the floor.  FrodoJoseKitty rubbed against it with his chin and meowed.  So far, so good.


            “Maybe you should put some treats in there,” suggested Evan.


I tossed a few kitty treats inside the box, figuring it couldn’t hurt.  Next thing I knew, FrodoJoseKitty leapt into the box and began eating the kitty treats.  Evan and I quickly closed the lid and looked at one another in amazement.   Putting this cat in a box couldn’t have gone any easier.


We congratulated ourselves on our cat-handling brilliance all the way to the car.  Evan got in first and I put FrodoJoseKitty’s box on the floor between his feet for the trip to the vet.  “Just keep an eye on him,” I said.  “He should be OK but watch in case he tries to come out the top of the box.” 


You know the saying, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?”  Well, whoever said that never had to drive an irritated feline in a box to the vet’s office in the dark.  If he had, he would realize that an angry cat is much, much worse and way more difficult to contain. 


I don’t know if it was the sound of the car engine or the vibration or the dark or what, but FrodoJoseKitty was seriously annoyed.  He wanted out of that box and he wanted out now.  The top of the box flexed outward at the same time that cat paws were coming out of every air hole opening.  How could the cat have a paw out of every hole and his head pushing against the top of the box, all at the same time? Evan struggled to keep the lid securely closed as the cat struggled mightily to escape.


Of course, we were stopped by every single red light on the way to the vet’s in order to enjoy our collective misery for as long as possible. 


Just as FrodoJoseKitty was about to burst through the top of the cat carrier, we pulled into a parking space at the vet’s office.  Thankfully, he seemed to chill out when I turned the car off.    


Once inside the examination room, we were able to let him out of the box.  He eagerly explored the room until it came time for his check-up. 


The doctor asked us what we knew about his history and began the examination.   FrodoJoseKitty became agitated by her poking and prodding so she gave him some kitty treats to snack on while she continued.  After estimating his age at one year and pronouncing him healthy, she left the room so that the technician could come in and tell us how much the neuter and vaccinations would cost us.  I guess she didn’t want to be implicated in the heart attack they were about to cause me.  Cat rescuing is apparently not for financially-challenged folks like me.


As soon as the door closed behind her, FrodoJoseKitty made his move.  With a great calculated leap, he jumped up onto the counter where the kitty treats were stored.  Evan and I watched in disbelief as he batted the bag out of its storage place, unrolled it with his paw, and stuck his entire face inside, happily munching on his hard-earned prize.  

We returned the next day to retrieve the cat after his neutering.  The vet, knowing that we were trying to find a home for FrodoJoseKitty, gave us certificates “for his new owner’s records” confirming that he’d been neutered and vaccinated.


Today is day 14 of CATivity.  FrodoJoseKitty is healing from his surgery and enjoys lounging on his new catnip-infused scratching pad in the sunshine.  He greets me with a sweet meow whenever I enter the room and rewards me with a strong purr whenever I feed or hold him. 


If I didn’t know better, I’d say that he’s already found his new home.


lovin' the catnip pad



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Hmm, I think he's home. ~r
He's gorgeous! And looks very satisfied where he is. He did pick you for a reason. Cats do that.
He is a beautiful cat. Who named him? I can totally relate to the ride to the vet's and subsequent fear at learning the cost of his treatment, being the owner of 4 cats myself. Rated.
I speak from experience - this will be your cat until the day he dies. Just enjoy him; he sounds like a character! And yeah, the cat-in-a-box thing - you got really lucky!
The only thing worse than travelling with an annoyed cat in a box is . . . well . . . it's what happens when the cat gets out of the box . . . while one is driving.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that FrodoJoseKitty will charm Bailey. Crazier things have happened, right?
What a pretty cat!

We once adopted a pound cat that turned out to be so antisocial that no only could we not catch it, it could fly around the entire house without ever touching the floor, gleefully scattering nicknacks and snagging furniture at the speed of sound. Eventually we trapped it on the back porch and snatched it in a fishing net as it leapt from the top of the refrigerator, planning to carom off my husband's head on the way to the windowsill. It went to some friends who needed a flying barn cat.
"NOT only"

I can spell; I just can't type.
What a delightful post about an originally named cat! Why don't you keep him, he is so adorable. On another note, I can identify with your trip to the vet, mine hates car travel as well. In fact, the only time I hear his voice is when he complains constantly as we drive.

You did the right thing by n'n him. He's a clever bugger and so beautiful! I agree with the others I thinks he has a new home, too!
He's got you at meow.
You had me laughing out loud.r
I've had cats utterly destroy those cardboard carrying boxes and get loose in the car. It's not easy to drive with a cat under the brake pedal. They recover lickety split, don't they? Good for you for neutering him, whether you choose to keep him or not. But I think you will keep him. Who could reject a face like that?
His expression is: You are mine now. You will love me and serve me.

Besides how can you resist that face and the purring that comes with it?
Pre-neuter exam? Yikes!
Oh he's definitely home.
Joan - I'm growing awfully attached to him. :)

phyllis45 - Everyone keeps telling me that cats choose their owners. Now if only he'll win over the dog, my husband, and son #2.

Erica - Thank you! His name came from my one son calling him "Frodo," another son calling him "Jose," and me calling him "Kitty" because he comes to me when I call him that. Since none of us could agree on one name, we combined all three of them.

Blue in TX - I still have to get the majority of the family and the dog to agree that he lives here. I'm open to suggestions!

Owl - Hopefully charming Bailey will be next. He and Bailey sniff each other under the door for HOURS each day. I get nervous that I'm going to do it wrong when I introduce them and then their relationship will be doomed.

Brie - Thank you!

High Lonesome - Your description of your flying barn cat had me cracking up. Unbelievable! Hopefully he was a better fit with your friends. I hear those flying barn cats are in demand. :)

Fusun - If he can get along with, or at least tolerate, the dog, I think I'll have a better chance of keeping him. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Mango - Thank you! Maybe tomorrow I'll get him and the dog together and see how it goes.

Lea - LOL - I know!

hugs, me - Thank you so much. XOXO

Leslie - I was so afraid that he was going break loose in the car. He was making one of the air holes bigger with his claws while I was driving! I guess if we end up keeping him, a proper cat carrier is in order. I don't want to go through that cardboard nightmare again!

Stim - I think you're right - his expression does seem to say that! Hopefully he will continue to stay sweet so that he can charm the other members of the family.

Sheepy - But you get kitty treats...

keri h - You may be right; he has been awfully comfy here lately.

jane - Thank you! Wish me luck - I think I'm going to put him and Bailey together tomorrow and see what happens. Ear scritches to Tigger. :)
You'll get past all that hissing and spitting and they'll become buddies. Or at least create mutual disdain.
Nice post.

Box? I have a plastic carrier and, even better, a metal cage. But never thot of the kitty treat trick to get them inside...
We don't really choose cats, they choose us. It's mystical and almost always the perfect fit. You just need to find a place for the litter box, not in Matt's room or anybody else's. And keep in mind that growing cats eat about twice their weight, just like teenage boys. Fortunately their food costs less. Welcome to cat ownership.
He's a gorgeous cat. I laughed out loud at your cat in the box story. I know from experience that cats HATE car rides. Glad you survived it
keri h - We put them together last night. Let's just say it wasn't as ugly as I thought it would be, but there was definitely plenty of hissing and spitting to go around.

Myriad - I am SO clueless about cats, but I'm learning quickly. I bet catnip would get him in the box even faster!

Sally - I know, I does feel as if he's chosen to be here for some reason. We still have hurdles to overcome: 1) Bailey 2) Dan 3) a place to put the litterbox that's better than where it is now. I'll keep working on it.

Unbreakable - Thank you! It's definitely been a learning experience. :)
Congrats on the new kitty.
Your post is funny - I can relate to those trips to the vet! I gave up on the cardboard box pretty quick! :)

FrodoJoseKitty is a very handsome boy with beautiful soulful eyes. He is looking at you with that catsatisfied look of love. I hope you get to keep him! My husband was a resistant cat person when we were first married. Now we have five rescue kitties, all who found us, and bring us so much joy.

Dog and cat friends are the best. My first cat didn't like my dog at first many years ago, and they soon became the best of friends, going for walks together with my parents.

Please keep us posted on FrodoJoseKitty!
nerd cred - Thank you, my friend!

Joanne - Thanks for the encouragement. I'll be so happy if Bailey and FrodoJoseKitty can get along. Your own experience makes me feel as if it's truly possible.
The best pets always choose us, not the other way around. He and Bailey will be fine! We have a mixed pack, it's all good. Have fun.
Oh, you just have to find a way to keep him! He chose YOU, and I know that somehow it will work out. It will just take time. I really didn't want the last cat that chose me -- a beat-up stray with major attitude -- but in the end I loved his feisty personality and find myself still grieving over his death from cancer.
Firechick - I keep hearing that a lot: that cats choose us, not the other way around. He certainly seems to be settling in with no intentions of returning to the outdoors. (That's a good thing, especially since we've had low temps of 10 degrees here at night.) He and Bailey are establishing their boundaries and tolerating each other much better than I'd expected. Crossing fingers that it continues!

Emma - Another person who says that this cat chose me! I did not know that cats do things like this. Actually, I'm discovering new things about cats every day. Who knew that a bag could keep him entertained for hours? Thanks for assuring me that it will work out. I think we're making it over one hurdle: the dog. Next is hubby. :)