6-5-17 Frankie Monday

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Edited to add: Just got off the phone with Susan – y’all have sent donations totaling over $2,500, which is far more than enough for Frankie’s surgery – even if he ends up needing a second one. Thank you so very much to those of you who have donated, those of you who are keeping Frankie in your thoughts, and all of you for reading. You guys are the very very best, and we appreciate it so very much. (So does Frankie. No, really!)


This is Frankie:

If you’ve been here a while, you know the story of Frankie, but here’s a synopsis for the newer readers.

Frankie showed up here in early January, late one night, howling so loudly on the front porch that I could hear it from my room. As soon as I walked out onto the front porch, a small orange tabby burst out of the bushes and ran off. I told Fred about it, and we set up the game cam to see if he was coming around regularly. The game cam never did capture any pictures of him, but about a week later, he showed up in the side yard. He let Fred pick him up, and he purred like crazy, and since NATURALLY it was a weekend, we waited until Monday to take him off to the vet for testing and neutering with the plan of making him a Challenger’s House cat.

Unfortunately, he turned out to be FIV positive, and since he’d have had to be contained to a room by himself at the shelter, we brought him here and tried to find a home for him, with the help of Forgotten Felines. But then, of course, he turned out to have even more issues – he was heartworm positive and had mycoplasma haemofelis – and since he was going to need to be medicated for at least a month, we knew that we’d get too attached to him to give him up, so ultimately made the decision to keep him.

He had an even more pressing issue in terms of his mouth. His gums were bright red and he cried out when he yawned, as well as when he ate. Originally, the vet who neutered him thought it was gum disease and did a cleaning (and pulled 3 or 4 teeth), but the problem was much deeper than that. When he wasn’t improving after the initial dental work, we took him to our vet, who had to sedate him for an exam and determined that Frankie has feline stomatitis, something that often goes hand-in-hand with being FIV positive. The words he used to describe Frankie’s soft palate on the left side were “hamburger meat” and “looks like someone set off a firecracker in his mouth.”

Frankie went on a regimen of steroids (prednisilone), which worked for a few months. He was able to yawn and eat like a normal cat, and gained over two pounds (he only weighed eight when he first showed up). Unfortunately — as expected — the steroids aren’t working as well anymore. He’s started yelping again (not as much as before, but it’s only a matter of time), and his gums have gone bright red again. Medicating him has always been hard but it’s worse than ever now because it hurts him. We’ve talked with our vet, and the best option forward is to try removing teeth to see if we can get the situation under control. Our vet wants to be conservative, to save any teeth he can, and has recommended one surgery now with a potential second surgery if it doesn’t completely resolve the problem. The estimate for the two surgeries is $1400, on top of the more than $700 we’ve already spent. To be blunt, while we consider Frankie to be a gift because he’s such a good cat, he’s an unexpected gift with unexpected costs.

(And now with Mr. Fancypants, we have another unexpected gift who is FIV positive.)

So what we’re doing is what we’ve never done before: we’re asking for donations to offset the cost of Frankie’s surgery. Susan at Challenger’s House has kindly offered to let people make the donations to Challenger’s House so that they will be tax deductible, and then she will pay the vet directly from those funds. Please don’t send anything directly to us.

I can’t even tell you how much I hate this — we’ve never asked for money before, and we absolutely loathe needing to do it now. If you’re able and want to help, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You can donate to Challenger’s House via Paypal (see the link at the bottom of this page), VISA, Mastercard (they can take those donations by phone at 256-420-5995) or check/money order. Just make a note on the donation that it’s for Frankie’s surgery / surgeries. Should more money be donated than is necessary for Frankie’s care, the extra will go to support other cats in need. (Edited to add: apparently there’s not a way to make a note that the donation is for Frankie’s surgery if you pay via Paypal. You can send an email to Challenger’s House separately letting Susan know who the donation is meant for – or, honestly, she’ll likely be able to figure out what it’s meant for. Thank you all so much for your donations!)

If making a donation would have any kind of negative impact on your budget, please DON’T do it. This cost isn’t completely insurmountable for us, it’s just a strain because we didn’t expect a cat with the issues Frankie has. Either way, he is scheduled for his first surgery on June 13th.

Please also be aware that, according to our vet, this works about 80% of the time, so it’s not a guaranteed solution. Obviously, we hope that it does work and that Frankie will go on to share many more pain-free years with us.


2016: Barnaby Mouse gets a little sun.
2015: “Excuse me, please not to bother. I am on VERY IMPORTANT PHONE CALL.”
2014: Thursday Thlurrrrrpday.
2013: A melee of Dragons.
2012: Kinda relaxed for someone who’s about to go off and get the ol’ snip-snip, isn’t he?
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: Girlfriend has got some LUNGS.
2008: It’s so cute I want to squeeze them to death.
2007: The knowledge that he’s the Purtiest! Kitty! Ever! makes Sugarbutt a wee bit smug.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



6-5-17 Frankie Monday — 58 Comments

  1. Done. It’s not much but it’s a start. Alas, doing PayPal from that site on my pho didn’t allow me to specify it was for Frankie so I sent an email to CH. Hopefully it will find its way to the right place.

  2. I followed Carol’s lead and emailed CH about my Frankie donation. Sending healing prayers to Frankie and many thanks to Robyn and Fred for taking such care with all the Permanent residents as well as the fosters.

  3. I didn’t see a way to make a note about my donation being for Frankie. Prayers and love for the little guy. I will email CH to let them know about my donation being for him.

  4. I too have made a donation via PayPal and found that there wasn’t any way of leaving a note to say that it was for Frankie. I have e-mailed Challenger’s House.

  5. Done – with pleasure. Please never be afraid to ask for help, Robyn, I’m sure others like me are happy to donate what and when we can as just a small thank you for the pleasure your site gives.

    Good luck and get well soon Frankie xx

  6. I did the same thing, paid with PayPal and sent an email to specify that the donation is for Frankie. I wouldn’t have minded to pay with credit card directly, but I’m not making an overseas phone call for that purpose, so PayPal it is.

  7. I contributed as well, via PayPal and an email to Challenger’s House.
    Please give Frankie a soft get-well-soon cuddle from me!

  8. I’ll be calling CH with a donation later this morning – of course we want to help when we are able to do so!

    Sending purrs and scratches to Frankie and good thoughts to you and Fred.

  9. Frankie is like my cat Bunny (whose legal name is Frankie actually). I describe her as the most expensive free cat ever. Sure hope he gets to feeling better soon.

  10. Will do. As you know, I live to the south of ya’ll and feed strays. For years I took in cats (had 9 at one time); in the later years, they were almost always FIV. Some lived long lives, others not so much. At any rate, the FIV in this area (for outside/stray cats) seems to be high.

    On another note, I read somewhere online (can’t remember where) that some cats are developing an immunity to FIV — I guess on the theory that so much exposure eventually causes that.

    (((((((((((Hugs to Frankie)))))))))) At least he’s living a good life now, and loves his daddy!

  11. Done! I’m sure it won’t take too long to reach the goal, considering how large, generous & loving the L&H community is. 😀

  12. Done. I hope Frankie comes through his surgery fine and is able to live a long and happy life. God bless you for taking care of kitties in need and giving a great start to so many kittens.

  13. Done. Happy to help Frankie! I also sent an email to CH to explain my donation. I also hope this brings the little man some relief.

  14. Done. And thank you for asking for help. This site is one of my favorite places and I consider you and Fred friends whom I just haven’t met in person yet.

    Since I am involved with a shelter for FIV positive kitties, I see a lot of stomatitis. Pulling teeth is amazingly helpful for them, and even if the cat has only a couple teeth left (or sometimes no teeth!), they seem to eat just fine.

  15. Poor Frankie and you guys. As someone who has gone through stomatitis, I would seriously suggest pulling everything. There is a significant chance he will have to lose them all anyhow, so better to do it all at once is what I was told by a dental specialist up here. I know asking for help sucks, but know that we love you guys and what you do for Frankie and the other cats that “show up” at Crooked Acres.

    • I agree with pulling everything, this was the only way were able to treat one of our cats. Our dental vet suggested this instead of the possibility of another surgery. If I remember correctly, his surgery was around $1200, but the dental vet worked with us and let us pay in 4 installments.

  16. a small donation made – mostly to honour your work and to thank you for this blog. For many many years I have been blessed by your kitten wrangling. Brought smiles when I really needed them. A deserving case. Thank you

  17. Done as well, with a followup e-mail to Challenger’s House regarding Frankie’s surgery. And Robyn, please do not feel bad about asking for help; we are happy to do so! Best wishes for Frankie’s surgery =^..^=

  18. Done and sent a follow up email about directing my donation to Frankie. I get so much joy from reading your blog I am more than happy to help you make Frankie feel better. Both he and you deserve it!

  19. All I can send is hugs right now so ((HUGS)). I hope Frankie gets better soon as he is such a sweetheart.

  20. Done same as above! Thank you for letting us help – you know we love your animals all most as much as you do!! 🙂

  21. Robyn,

    we offered months ago to help out with Frankie so don’t feel awkward. After all that you do for these animals over the years it’s an honor to assist in your work.

  22. Thanks for letting us help you, Robyn. You don’t know how much you help us with the photos and stories you share. Donated a wee bit and emailed CH as well! (And that was BEFORE I looked at all these comments!) Purrs and blessings to you, Fred and of course, sweet Frankie!

  23. Done and done. It’s a tiny thing to do to help, after years of enjoying reading your blogs. I really hope the treatment helps Frankie, I’ll have my fingers crossed.

  24. My son had a cat, that he wouldn’t give to me, that had to have all of her teeth extracted. She lived a long and happy life. I see great things for Frankie.
    My fingers are crossed.

  25. that poor sweet boy. I will go and donate as well. give him a kiss and a pat from me.

  26. Yep, add me to the list of Done! It really is a pleasure to help y’all out when you do so much for all the kitties and bring such pleasure to all of us in the L&H community.

    Hugs to you all!!

  27. The check, as they say, is in the mail. Like others I was concerned there was no way to tag the payment for Frankie in Paypal, so I resorted to the old school method of mailing a check. It should get there in time for Frankie’s surgery on the 13th.

    The Hellboys (Max, Puck and Phred) send get well purrs to Frankie.

  28. Done via PayPal and follow up to Challenger’s house. I get so much enjoyment and happiness from your blog and you never ask for anything but always give us so much. Do not even spend a second more worrying about asking. I hope this surgery does the trick for Frankie. I have come to care a great deal about that boy. He is a trooper. Massive thanks to you and Fred for all you have done over the years for our furry friends. You will never know how many people you have touched and inspired with your good deeds and willingness to share with all of us.

  29. Done & emailed. Your blog & pictures have brighten my day for several years now! It’s the very least I could do to say THANKS! to you and your family!

  30. I understand that it’s terribly hard on you and Fred to ask for any help at all, but on the flip side – I’m so very glad you have done so and given all of us the chance to do so. I can see from the previous comments that everyone here is more than willing to help to the best of their abilities – even if it’s nothing more than well wishes and prayers. This gives us the opportunity to (in a small small way) repay you for the amazing website and community you foster. I know you would help the cats regardless, because it’s just what you do. But the work and time you spend on this website blesses all of us and has given the regulars here a community to be a part of and a “safe place” to be.

    Also, I second the idea that a “tracker” of some sort that lets us know how much money is collected. If it’s not too difficult to do. Just gives us all a good feeling to see the tangible. 🙂

    Hugs and kisses to all there, with special love to Frankie, and prayers that the pain is minimal and that the surgery is everything he needs.

    • I second the “safe place” to be. So hard to find these days. I know I can always come here and smile, giggle, sometimes cry , but always be respected and welcomed.

  31. I think all I can send right now is well-wishes and prayers. If I can send more, I will. Don’t ever be afraid to ask, Robyn. This blog is the best and you do so much for others — it’s the least we can do.

  32. Done! A small price to pay for the years of enjoyment you’ve given this reader, Robyn. And I’m glad you made the ask. Happy to help.

  33. Wishing the best outcome for Frankie (and you guys too). Would help financially if I could, but afraid my old cookie jar bank is bare right now.
    Frankie knew what he was doing when he picked you and Fred to help him. All paws are crossed here for him.

  34. Don’t feel in the least bit bad for asking for help !!!!! As much as ya’ll and the gang brighten my day, small “price” to pay! Just glad you asked.

    • What she said! You and Fred do so much for the little kittehs. Don’t feel bad for asking. We understand. Please give Frankie a big hug and kiss from me.

  35. What a wonderful outpouring of love for Frankie and you and Fred!! I hope it keeps this sweet boy in the best health and with us for a long time!

  36. I was coming over to donate and saw that you had already raised more than enough for Frankie. That’s just awesome! If it turns out that you need more, please let me know. Purrs for sweet Frankie.

  37. Just to be clear, how will losing his teeth help his mouth? Is this like removing the source of irritation or infection?

    afterwards, will his gums/roof of his mouth still be red and sore? Feel like sending baby food or ice cream to cool down the red tissue.

    • Yes, I believe it’s removing the source of irritation, and once the teeth are removed, his gums and the roof of his mouth should heal. Right now, you better believe that Frankie is getting lots of baby food, but no ice cream. Don’t give him any ideas. 😉

  38. Robyn, you know I have always donated for anything, even if it is just “in the name of”. I feel really bad. But last week was $1600 for Lola and then the cost of her cremation. 🙁 I can and will pray for him and hope to always be able to donate in the future. I am so sorry. Much love to Frankie.

    • Oh GD -I didn’t know Lola had gone to The Bridge!! I’m so sorry! Sending you hugs and purrs…

      • Thank you. It was a shocker. She had cancer. I had no idea that cancer of the nose and sinuses is a common form of cancer in cats. I did some research (can mostly find out about humans), and saw that in the early stages it is often misdiagnosed as sinusitis, allergies, etc. SO it goes mistreated and undiagnosed. She was given months. I helped her cross over because her quality of life was already poor. I was giving supportive care till I got answers. She would not eat etc. I did not feel that keeping her here with me, syringe feeding her and she hiding in a ball somewhere, was the right thing to do. It would have been selfish for me. I wasn’t prepared as I always felt she was “fixable” once we knew what it was….a few pills and BAM, she would be back. The specialist even said, “Setting aside that I am a vet, if she were my cat, I would not keep her going.” She is with Emma now – who is with Josh and Kitters. So, Lola has new friends until I get there for them all.

    • Don’t you dare feel bad, GD, after what you’ve been through these last few months with sweet Lola. <3

    • So sorry to hear about Lola. Hugs to you!

      You mentioned cremation, will you be keeping her ashes then? We have a few of ours, the first ever kitties we ever had. It brings comfort knowing we still have them. Especially my beloved Tody.

      • Yes. I also buy pretty silver boxes that I engrave. Hers has her first and middle name (Lola Palooza), birth date, expiration date, and “Forever Loved”. I buried my first. I wasn’t prepared there either as I had never gone through it as an adult. After thinking about it, I know that if I move…well, she will have to come with me. The idea of a new homeowner, accidentally digging her up and throwing away her bones, is more than I could bear. So, through that, I always cremate.

        I am sorry about your Tody. They never ever leave our hearts….ever…

  39. Seeing as you have enough for Frankies surgery I will just donate to the general fund. I hope all goes well with that sweet boy!