North Nikiski, Alaska 1990
I certainly hope everyone had a Happy Halloween.
The following story is about our black cat named Frack. Her twin sister was named Frick. Both black and only Bob could tell them apart.
In my other life a long long time ago, I rescued a little kitty from a couple of jerks setting at a bar in Kenai where my friend was tending bar. I took that little kitty home and fed him baby formula with an eye dropper. He thrived and became a fat little fur ball. Susan and her family lived here in Kenai at the time and her boys wanted a little kitty, so they adopted him. They named him Romeo. Porter was transferred to Fairbanks and they moved all of their belongings plus a doggie, Lady and the little kitty, Romeo. It was a tearful goodbye and for the next 12 years they lived in Fairbanks.
I met Bob a few months after they had arrived and settled in Fairbanks. Susan called me one day and said “Hey Mom – guess what – Romeo is a Juliet!” And she added that Romeo was going to have kitties. Later, she called and asked if Bob would like two black kitties for his birthday. Of course I said yes!
We already had a Golden Retriever puppy we named Penelope Ann of Bishop Creek, Penny for short. Two little kitties would really make animal lover, Bob, happy. Thus began our amazing home for kitties through the years. Bob named the two little black kitties Frick and Frack. Turned out Frick and Frack were female. Turned out that their first litter was a big one! We do not know who the daddy was but we suspected it was our neighbor’s big black cat that Bob named Melvin. He eventually adopted us!
The two cats had kitties born all in ONE day. We had 17 baby kitties and the two Mommas’, plus Melvin. Now you do that math – it still boggles my mind and we never knew whose little babies were whose, as the Momma’s, Frick and Frack, lay in a circle and all those little kitty-critters were snug in the circle. As they grew a little older our Penny dog even helped keep them in control. Some of them slept with her. I advertised at the post office to give away to GOOD homes some cute kitties. We had no trouble giving those little guys away. We kept two!! So that made four kitties at our house, plus Melvin. And Penny-dog. At that time we still lived in a little one bedroom cabin.
We moved into our new unfinished house along with Penny, Frick, Frack and the two kittens. Plus Melvin who visited when ever he pleased in 1990.
Bob worked at Unocal and his night time job was to finish the house. He made a makeshift kitchen cupboard to hold the sink so I could have a place to wash dishes. It was a piece of plywood with a hole for the sink. We had installed a propane stove and an old propane refrigerator. I had a work place made of four milk crates with a piece of plywood balanced on top. We were set, no complaints. He also installed a nice large florescent light fixture in the ceiling. It was fitted into the attic and also unfinished.
Frack the black cat was a climber. She climbed everywhere. Frick the black cat sister, just watched. Counting kitty noses one afternoon we came up with one short – Frack.
We called, we looked inside, we went outside, we looked under things in the house. I went into the kitchen to make us lunch. Bob looked up and he said, “Here kitty, kitty” From the ceiling light area we heard “Meow, Meow.”
Bob grabbed two milk crates – (what else?) stepped up and pushed the large two light florescent fixtures over and out peeked Frack. She would not come close enough for him to grab at her and she would not jump down. So Bob put one foot on the plywood sink holder and reached up and grabbed the missing cat. As he handed me the cat, the plywood gave way and he went crashing down onto the makeshift four crate work place. On the workspace was my metal recipe card holder. His shoulder hit the cupboard, his back and ribs hit the metal card holder corner and he crashed onto the floor, on his back! He just laid there!
I was in such shock, looking down at him with terrible pain on his face! I shouted at him, (bent over with my elbows out like a big turkey, blowing out a bunch of wind) – “911-911!” No response, so I screamed “911-911” again. Then on the third shout of “911-911” he screamed at me “SHUT UP! Give me your hand and pull me out of here!” It was then I realized I did not have a phone in my hand and I was completely useless screaming 911.
He was badly hurt with a big v-like gash in his back, and his shoulder hurt him for weeks. I wanted to CALL the paramedics and he told me I was crazy. He was going to be OK and then he looked at me and we both started laughing. We laugh and laugh to this day – and every once in a while, when someone has a little bitty accident, we both will yell at each other “911-911!” with our elbows sticking out.
We still have kitties and right now we have 5, four males and one female. She is 21 years old – the ruling Grandmamma of the four males. They love her and give her kitty kisses and licks. The males are twelve years old, all fixed. The names Bob gave them? Bootzee, the grandmamma. Mr. Big, Mr. Little, whom I thought was a female, until the vet told me otherwise. Two black cats with white bibs and dots on their noses, Sam and Beau.
They, like all cats, bring offerings to us almost every morning after a night of stalking and hunting. Years ago, the lights were blinking in a wind storm, and not wanting to miss out on my morning shower before the power went off, I jumped into the shower, turned on the water and shampooed my hair twice, looked down and the water was not draining. I bent over stuck my finger in the drain, jumped back, jumped out of the tub dripping wet, realizing I had just felt something warm, soft and fuzzy. I took a skinny handled comb – the only thing handy I could find, dug out a very small, already dead shrew (mouse). Then I had to get it out of the tub,I ran dripping wet into the kitchen to get a ream of paper towels to fish that tiny little dead thing out of the tub. Doing that – I washed out the tub, got rinsed off and went to tell Bob how lucky he was he did not get in the tub first. I now pay closer attention to what our cats have in their mouth!
This is my black cat story. We have through the years, had many kitties. Some of them have been dumped in our yard. Some of the cats have been abandoned and found their way to our door step. They are all loved and well fed. We try and find kind, happy, caring homes for them. And in some cases keep track of them in their happy homes.
We live in a small house and all kitties have been trained to go to the door and meow to be let out doors to go potty. It took some time to do this, but well worth the effort I put into it. We love them and are apart of our family. Take care of your animals this winter. Keep them warm and well fed.
Do you have a black cat story? Our kitty memories were created 25 years ago and continues to this day
The series is written by a 47 year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski. Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her Mother, a self taught wonderful cook.
She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day.
Grannie Annie can be reached at email@example.com!
Cookbooks make great gifts!
The “Grannie Annie” Cook Book Series includes: “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ on the Woodstove”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ at the Homestead”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ Fish from Cold Alaskan Waters”; and “Grannie Annie’s Eat Dessert First.” They are available at M & M Market in Nikiski.