2-24-20 Frankie

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Frankie (Franklin Beans)
April 15, 2011 – February 21, 2020.

Frankie did not improve at all last week (in case you missed it, he was diagnosed as “probable leukemia” (the cancer, not the virus) on Tuesday), and Friday morning we decided to take him to our old vet in Athens for a second opinion and to see if the vet thought there was anything we could try. After an extensive examination and looking at Frankie’s bloodwork results, the vet said that he wasn’t sure that he agreed with the diagnosis of leukemia, but that Frankie’s body was clearly shutting down. Even though he was on an antibiotic, he had a fever of almost 106. The vet said that even with hospitalization and IV medication, he didn’t think there was really a chance Frankie would pull through. So we made the decision that it was time.

He went quickly and peacefully. This post is my tribute to him.


Frankie showed up in mid-January 2017. I was in bed and could hear the VERY loud sound of a cat from the front porch. It was an unfamiliar voice, and so I got up to see what was going on. When I opened the front door, a little orange tabby came shooting out from under the bushes in front of the porch, with Archie in hot pursuit. The little orange cat ran so fast that I couldn’t really tell where he’d gone, and though I called and called, he didn’t come back.

About a week later, Fred and I were getting ready for bed, and he said “There’s a little orange cat in the side yard!” That was Frankie.

The night he showed up (and stayed), with Kara looking on from the back yard.

It was our intention to foster him briefly and have him adopted out via Challenger’s House, but a combo test showed that he was FIV positive. We were still going to try to find him a home, but as it turned out he was so sick that we decided it was best for him to stay with us. (He and Dewey became very good friends, very quickly.) Also, though he was a small cat – and so I assumed he was young – they aged him at about 6-7 years old.

Poor Frankie was just a complete mess. He was anemic, had Bordetella, heartworms, and stomatitis so bad that the vet said his mouth looked like hamburger. Our first job was to get him past the Bordetella and get his mouth to a stage where he wasn’t screaming every time he yawned or ate. That took… a couple of months, I think. Then he had a bunch of his teeth removed, since that often solves the stomatitis issue. Unfortunately it didn’t, and he had to go back for more surgery to have most of his teeth removed. That still didn’t solve the issue, so after keeping him on steroids to heal his mouth, we put him on Atopica which worked to keep the stomatitis at bay.

At the time we decided to put him on Atopica, the vet pointed out that as an immunosupressant, it would likely end up shortening his life. But given the choice between a longer life full of pain and a shorter life with little to no pain, the decision was obvious.

After some initial kerfuffles, Frankie settled among the permanent residents pretty smoothly. Except for Alice and Archie, Frankie got along with everyone pretty well. He was buddies with Dewey, and then Dewey decided he was a loner, and so Frankie became best buddies with Jake.

He absolutely loved his people – we could pick him up, flip him on his back, kiss him on the face, and he’d just look up at us and purr. He had the softest, silkiest fur and just loved to be petted and snuggled.

He handled the move from Crooked Acres to Shady Cove pretty well – not a lot phased that boy.

Ironically, a few people have asked who would be the sheriff now that Kara is gone. I would have said Frankie – any time two permanent residents got into a scuffle, Frankie was there in a flash to get in the middle and break it up. He was an excellent deputy (though he was fond of chasing the Sheriff and making her squeak) and would have been a fine upholder of The Law among our feline residents.

He loved: his people, his Jake, watching squirrels, hanging out in the sunshine, being kissed, pinning me down at night and melting me alive with his 10,000 degree body temperature, drinking fresh shower water off the floor of the shower, kicking litter all over the place, making sure Alice Mo knew that she had to share her Daddy sometimes (yo.)

The worst part of this is how very fast it happened. I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, and last Sunday afternoon he was Frankie. Just hanging out, trying to put his butt on Jake, wondering where his crunchies were, wondering why the humans kept making it rain outside. And now he’s gone. I keep forgetting that he’s gone – I walk into my bedroom at bed time expecting to see him sitting by the window or tussling with Jake, and then I remember. I don’t think his absence is a surprise to the other cats – they all seemed to know he wasn’t well; Jake didn’t try to get him to play in the days before we said goodbye, and didn’t even ask for attention from him. But it’s still a surprise to me.

I am so glad that he showed up on our doorstep, so glad that he was ours for three short years. He was a sweet and amazing boy and while I wouldn’t have done anything different in this last three years with him, I am so very sad that that’s all the time we were given.

Goodbye, our sweet ornj boy. We miss you terribly.


2019: We have an eyeball!
2018: No entry.
2017: Archie, waiting for me to open the door so he can hesitate, think about it, maybe step one foot over the threshold and then stomp away in disdain.
2016: Is she not the most fabulously gorgeous girl?
2015: I don’t know that we’ve had a rare Diamond-Bellied Tuxie before!
2014: ..a chin strap, to hold her ears on! (Orlando’s got one, too.)
2013: No entry.
2012: Lest you think that Everett spends all his time chasing da bird, it is not so. He does lots of other things!
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: Snugglebug.
2008: Elle and Skittles were finally adopted!
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



2-24-20 Frankie — 44 Comments

  1. We are so sorry. Thank you for sharing Frankie with us, thank you for taking him in, for caring for him and for loving him. We’re going to miss seeing and hearing about him.

  2. I lost three of my cats last year, two in about a month’s time span and that was rough. I can’t imagine two in a day and wish I could do or say something to help.

    I do take solace in knowing that Kara and Frankie lived in a home that is wonderful for cats, one where they were loved, well-cared for, and spoiled. Even more, although they were never aware of it, as their stories and pictures were shared many more of us came to love them as well. Thank you for letting us know them too.

    You, Fred, and all of the permanent residents have my deepest sympathies.

  3. Rest in peace, sweet Frankie. You brightened this world, and we are all the better for it.

    Brigitte and Malcolm in Canada

  4. RIP to such a beautiful boy. Thanks Robyn and Fred for taking him in and giving him such a loving home for the last three years of his life.

  5. Was it only 3 years?!? It seems like he was with you for much longer! But it’s never long enough… Rest easy Franklin Beans, we’ll miss your sweet kissable face!

  6. I’ve had cats that I don’t get to enjoy for long and it seems so unfair, no matter how positive I try to spin their short time with me. There are silver linings, but that big grey cloud is too close, especially in the days after our babies abruptly leave. No matter how many times this is endured, nothing can ever prepare you. My heart breaks a little more reading your stories and remembering my own.

    Much love and sorrow in NY, and hoping those silver linings show up fast.

  7. Such a beautiful orange boy! 3 years are not enough – sending kitty hugs from our 4 rescues here in the UK

  8. I am so terribly sorry for your double loss. Hugs to you and Fred, and head scritches to Jake. I loved knowing both Kara and Frankie vicariously, and I’m so very glad they were both able to share their lives with you.

  9. Robyn- I am so, so sorry. Having to say goodbye to Kara, and now Frankie. Franklin Beans clearly hit the jackpot when he came to live with you and Fred. It’s hard knowing how his time was so short, but it’s a little easier to think he did not suffer a painful passing outdoors and all alone. No doubt he got the best three years of his life at Crooked Acres/Shady Cove. I’m trying to think happy thoughts now. RIP Frankie.

  10. I so adored that boy, even though I never met him, not really.

    I think we all loved him through you and Fred, and we did, love him. Hold the others a little tighter today for us.

  11. I am so sorry to hear about Frankie, especially so soon after Kara. He sounds like a wonderful cat and was so beautiful. Thank you for taking him in and giving him such a loving home.

  12. That’s rough, two in two days. I cannot imagine what you and Fred must be going through now, but you gave him the best three years of his life, and that is all that anyone can ask.

  13. RIP Kara. RIP Frankie. I am so sorry for your loss. Words are not enough. Truly understand still seeing Frankie out of the corner of your eye. Frankie and the Sherrif are with you in spirit.

  14. Hearts to you and your furry family… This has been a rough week 🙁 Frankie is lucky to have wandered into your yard where he had a beautiful life in your love.

  15. What an amazing cat Frankie was, to go through so much with his health and still be such a sweet and happy boy. It really shows how well you cared for him. He was a lucky boy to have been found by you and Fred.

  16. I too lost two in two days one time and it was such a double whammy. I was just in shock and imagine you are too. What a cute boy he was and I love the shot of him all curled up. He was indeed lucky to have you as his people, as you were to have him as your loving cat.

  17. Frankie was absolutely gorgeous and obviously ridiculously smart,since he chose your house to look for help at.Like with all your permanent residents,I hope that the knowledge they provided a lot of people with happiness and smiles every single day,will make the hurt and sadness a little easier to deal with.

  18. Such a sweet boy – I’m so happy he found you for these last 3 years. But poor Jake, losing another bud. Please give him and all the permanent residents scritches for me.

  19. Oh no, not Frankie too — I’m so sorry you have to go through this again so soon after Sheriff Mama passed. My heart goes out to you, sending you lots of hugs. I’m going to miss the ornj guy, he was such a sweetie

  20. So heartbreaking to lose such a special baby… and so soon after losing an amazing sheriff. I’m so sorry. 🙁

  21. sweet, sweet Frankie. I lost my Squeaker to similar circumstances. He would spike a fever for no apparent reason, which we would treat and it would go away. then came the day it wouldn’t come down…..it was felt to be a circumstance of his FIV. It’s been four years last Wed (the 19th)and I still miss him killing his “spideys” every day……….

  22. Dear Robyn and Fred, writing this through tears, you could not help loving this sweet, dear boy, especially knowing all the heath problems he endured. I will cherish his Christmas card always! He had his best life with his best people, you and Fred!

  23. I’m so sorry for your losses. Both Kara and Frankie were big on personality and were extremely lucky to have found you and Fred.

  24. Thank you very much for the beautiful tribute, just so sad that two so close together were needed.
    I think that’s the worst part after the actual passing, is missing them everywhere they usually are, and the hardest to get past.
    Hugs and purrs and thoughts….

  25. Oh, I am so sorry. Frankie was such a light and I know he will be very missed. My thoughts are with you all during this very sad time.

  26. I am so very sorry for this second loss of Frankie. I know your hearts are just breaking. Hugs and purrs to you both.

  27. I can’t believe he was there so short a time, seems like he was always with you. The sheriff and her deputy together guarding the bridge, a nice image. I’m so sorry for this loss, both losses. My heart is breaking for you. Sending love and hugs and purrs.

  28. I cannot imagine saying goodbye to 2 precious souls in such a short amount of time. My heart goes out to you & Fred. You did the right thing for them, of course, but that doesn’t ease the pain much. Bless you for doing what was best for them both.

    Run free at the Bridge, Frankie, and Sheriff Mama.

  29. He would thank you if he could for the wonderful life you gave him. It wasn’t the years in the life, it was the life, and love, in the years.

    But loss sucks, and I’m so sorry you’ve had to endure another one.

  30. Thank you for opening your hearts and your home to Frankie. You gave him the best life he could have possibly had.

  31. Oh, ornj boy, play happily on the other side. You will be missed. Thinking of those he leaves behind – 2 legged and 4 🙁

  32. I am so very sorry to hear that you had to say good-bye to Kara and Frankie. You did them both proud with your tributes. They will missed but certainly not forgotten.

  33. I couldn’t bring myself to read this until today because I was still overwhelmed by the news. Frankie had to cope with so much, and it just seems so unfair that he didn’t have more time with the people he adored. But he did have quality time with you, and that so much more important than quantity. Or so I have to keep telling myself, because it just doesn’t seem fair.