I’ve essentially been unemployed since last October. I work two very part-time jobs bartending with catering companies, but I never earn a lot with those jobs. It’s never enough to off set the unemployment money I’ve been collecting, it just makes that money stretch a little farther than it otherwise would.
My last cat, Mischa, died in October 2012. It was really hard on me and it took a long time for me to even be interested in animals. When I went to visit my sister and her family in April, 2013, I never once touched their very sweet and tolerant cat. This fact occurred to me only as I was on the plane flying home from my week-long visit. It was not like me not to want to touch and pet the cat as she passed by.
At some point during the year or so that followed, my pain at the loss of my best friend of over twenty years lessened and I began to consider having a new animal in my life. I was somewhat torn, however. I’ve always been a cat person. I really like them and I find them to be quite enjoyable. I feel that anyone who says that cats are assholes (and I’ve heard lots of people say that), simply do not understand cats personalities. Mischa was a fairly good mix of independent and loving. Like all cats, he groomed himself. I didn’t need to bathe him. When he was hungry he helped himself to his food bowl. When he was thirsty he got himself a drink. When it was time to potty, he took care of his own business with no assistance from me. My only responsibilities were to replenish his food and water bowls every morning and keep the litter box sifted.
But I like dogs too. Call me a cliché if you like, but I like Chihuahuas. I have a small apartment, so if I was going to have a dog, I was going to have to have a small one. Chihuahuas fit nicely in a lap while watching TV, they don’t try to bowl you over the minute you walk in the door, and they’re easy to pick up and carry around when the situation warrants it.
The problem is, Dogs require a lot of attention and work. They need to be bathed periodically. They need to be walked several times daily and often at inconvenient times. And they must be entertained, all. the. time. I liked the idea of having a dog. We had a family dog when I was a teenager. Well, I say she was a family dog. She was supposed to be a family dog. She ended up being my sister’s dog. Dogs are like that. They pick one person and the rest of the family can hang for all they care. (Really all animals are like that, but whatever.) Life with this dog was much simpler. Since my sister was her person, my sister “got” to do all the baths. Feeding and watering was a quick twice-daily activity once before school and once at dinner time. We lived in a suburban area, in a house with a back yard. When it was time for the dog to take care of her business, we just let her out the back door and that was that.
But see, I live in a more urban environment without a fenced-in yard to just let a critter run around in. Walking a dog, for me, would involve roaming the neighborhood side walks, carrying a plastic baggy to retrieve said business. I’m not a morning person, and when I’m working full-time, I’m often rushing to get out the door and get to work “on time”. I’m also a night owl who has a bad habit of staying up too late to “just finish one more show in my DVR backlog” and then wanting to go right to bed. Much of the time I have to really force myself just to brush my teeth and put in my retainers. Having a dog would mean having to go for a walk before I leave for work, no matter how late I’m running. It would mean having to go for a walk before I can go to bed, no matter how late I’ve stayed up, or how tired I am. So I was on the fence.
The only things I knew for sure were that I was not going to have another male animal, and I was not going to get another pet until I had a full-time job.
On Sunday, June 1st, at 9:40 am I received a text from my downstairs neighbor.
Found a stray kitten in the back yard. Can’t keep him. Interested in checking him out?
I had no intention of taking in a new pet. I still don’t have a full-time job. I don’t need the expense of getting a new kitten all up to date with medical stuff. I was in the process of saying as much in a reply text when this came through.
My neighbor is evil.
I went down to talk to her. I wanted to know more about the situation. I had actually heard kitten meows from my bathroom window and I really thought there were a couple of them out there. It turned out what I was hearing was this poor little guy in their bathroom where they had closed him up to keep him away from their other two cats. But here’s the thing, while I was in my neighbors bathroom with her and the kitten and talking about the situation, she kept calling him “Blue Eyes” for obvious reasons. Every time she called him that, I thought of Frank Sinatra and his nick name “Ol Blue Eyes”. Then I thought “Frank Sinatra would be a cute name for him.”
Here’s a little pro tip for you. If you have no intention of adopting an animal, DON’T NAME IT.
This is “Frank Sinatra”, but his friends call him “Frankie”. Frankie is currently about ten weeks old, which according to most conversion charts is the equivalent of about three to three and a half years old. In other words, he’s a bit of a holy terror right about now. But he’s a pretty darn cute holy terror.