8/11/2010

Frankie Who?

Most guests of the St. Francis Inn are familiar with our cat Zeke. He's a big gray (rumored to be pureblood Russian Blue) cat who lives here at the Inn. About a year after Zeke adopted us a large (very large) black and gray tabby started hanging out here. He was so large and obviously well-fed that we assumed that some new people had moved into the neighborhood and this was their cat. Evidently not.

We watched and waited. No one came looking for him. We became convinced someone had dumped him. He showed up every morning for breakfast and again every evening for dinner. He was friendly to everyone (except Zeke).

That brings us to ... how was Zeke dealing with this intruder. Not well. For one thing both cats are male. Neutered, but still male. They hissed. They growled. They circled each other. They taunted each other. The amazing thing is they never really fought or hurt each other. So we decided if they could put up with each other then we'd let the large tabby live here, too. The staff nominated names for him and the majority voted for Frankie.

It was about this time that Frankie disappeared. Days went by without a Frankie sighting. Someone spotted him at the little pink cottage on St. Francis Street (behind our Wilson House). Then someone spotted him at the small apartment building next door. Turns out he was spending most of his time next door and mooching off the other neighbors at times, too. And our neighbors next door were calling him Leo. Leo! What kind of cat name is that?

Frankie has since fallen into a "routine" of spending some time here at the Inn, but taking his show "on the road" as the mood strikes. We regard him as our part-time cat and enjoy his occasional antics. Recently he and Zeke have been playing in the courtyard. Yes. Two adult male cats. Playing. Stalking each other. Chasing each other. Climbing the trees and jumping out at each other (and us sometimes). The above picture was taken last week when Frankie jumped (!) up on our coquina wall and laid on it, welcoming guests to the Inn all morning.

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