Monday, November 14, 2005

So We Have This Fat Cat

My Master's name is Frank, pronounced the good old American way... not the German way which sounds more like Fronk (rhyming with honk). He's about 12 years old and simply knows that our house is his dominion, and we are but allowed to live here. Of course we are his slaves, put to work getting him food upon request and occasionally making the fuzzy little white "mousie" move for his entertainment.

What is a little different about this guy is that he is rather large. When Frank and I moved to Germany, he was tipping the scale at 19lbs (8.61kg). You see, in America he was simply waiting 10 or 12 hours a day for my return so he could command me to give him more food. Here his life is a bit different. He's had to deal with a minor diet and he gets action (not that kind of action - I mean movement!) Plus with me being unemployed so long he's been incredibly busy following me around the house during chores making sure I am doing everything right... this is a full-time job!

Well his new vet suggested a lot more exercise, so you guessed it we've been trying to figure out ways to get an apartment cat more exercise. Letting him out in the big city isn't really an option, so we are doing the next best thing... we take him for walks! Yes, we put a harness on the cat (it matches his eyes, blue, of course) and take him out to walk around the neighborhood. Man, I have to tell you we get some WILD looks! Some people are friendly and want to talk with him; others just pass by trying to look like they're not staring in our direction. I assume that many of them just think I'm crazy.

Now you must understand that Berliners LOVE their dogs! They take them everywhere. Not a day will go by that you don't see a rather bored-looking Berliner walking down the street with a dog at the end of a line. It is a constant thing to see dogs riding the subways and busses. What blew my mind was seeing them in large department stores and supermarkets just walking along so well-mannered. Even the out-of-work punks almost always have dogs! Of course they must have enough money for cigs and beer, so I imagine the dogs help quite a bit with dumpster-diving when they can't afford food.

OK, back to Frank and his "excursions". He's been all around the neighborhood, and I must say he looks rather smart at the end of his tether. Occasionally a dog will cross his path but Frank barely reacts. He just watches the dog with the interest you see in a cow at a passing car. Once we were in a park enjoying the sun and his life was disrupted temporarily by a silly little mutt that kept taunting Frank. The dog was about 3/4 the size of my king-size kitty. Of course my clever tiger just kept a keen eye on the yapping monster as she passed. Every once in a while the dog we eventually came to know as "Daisy" would rush closer to Frank, never getting to within 6 feet of that scary kitty. After about 5 minutes of this senseless barking and running around, Daisy's Mom made the daft pooch leave the scene mentioning something about how that kitty just didn't want to play. What she didn't know is that Frank would have played with that dog, he would have been happy to throw Daisy to the ground and let her know in a proper way that Frank don't take no shit from yappy mongrels.

Well the cold temperatures keep us indoors, just too cold to take him out and about. So now to get a bit of exercise we are going up and down the stairs of the apartment house. Four floors is nothing to sneeze at for a guy with 7 inch legs! So far we haven't met any of the neighbors, but I bet it will happen some day. Can you imagine the conversation? "Hey, did you know that crazy American is on the stairs with a CAT on a LEASH?" "Yeah, saw them last week, I wonder what weird thing she'll do next."

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