Our Mountain Cat

You've all met Gracie and Tucker, but the first member of our pet family is our dear cat, Sinatra.

Sinatra has been with us for 5 years. When Jeremy and I first got married, we moved up to the foothills of NC. (I love this state....mountains on one side, beach on the other....it's wonderful) We decided to move up to the foothills because we had both wanted to live in the mountains and thought this was our perfect chance. Plus, the same principal snagged both of us separately at a job fair and talked us into his school. We met up later, unsure of how to tell each other about this school up in the mountains and then realized we were both talking about the same school! Anyway, up to the mountains we went.

We were about 4 hours away from our family. First year teaching, in a new place, away from everyone we knew, and Jeremy had football practice every night. I was stressed, homesick, and very lonely. One Saturday, Jeremy's parents had come to visit. His mom and I went out to Lowes and the local animal shelter was out there with their available animals. I had been considering a pet, but our apartment place didn't allow them. However, a little cat wouldn't make a lot of noise and would be pretty stealthy....so I decided to take a look. I came to a cage with two cats in it. One cat was all over the place...so playful and full of energy. The other cat just sat in the corner with an air of entitlement - like he was too good to be there. For some reason, I thought the energetic cat was a great choice for me. I wrote down the information and called Jeremy. He reluctantly agreed. So, I got the contact information for the foster home the cat was in and called the owner the next day. To my dismay, my cat had already been claimed. :( So, I said, "What about her brother? Did anyone claim him?" He was available! I immediately agreed that I would take him.

So, we went through all the preliminary details that come along with adopting an animal...vet info., shots, neutering, buying food and such. Then, I picked up my cat who had been named Bandit. First things first, I changed his name. Bandit was too predictable of a name for this cat. He had to have a unique, special name. So, I went with my all time favorite singer (next to Judy) - Frank Sinatra. We dropped Frank and just left it as Sinatra.....b/c with a name like Sinatra, who needs a first name?

We quickly learned that this aloof, shy cat was not what we thought he was. As is any kitten's nature, he was spunky, rambunctious, and quite stubborn. He was great company though, and he loved to play. He made the lonely nights of football practice easier to endure, and he definitely taught us a lot about owning a pet. We loved that cat more than any two people ever should love a cat. Sinatra liked to sneak out of the apartment sometimes. We had him declawed in the front because was he climbing everything - curtains, furniture, our legs...you name it...he had his claws in it! Well, when he discovered he could sneak out, we became frantic! Our poor cat was out of the house...with no way to defend himself! One night, we spent a good 45 minutes walking around our tiny complex searching for this cat. I had a flashlight and walked around the back of every unit. As I came around the far corner, my flashlight reflected against a pair of green eyes. He was hiding under a car. Now, coaxing a dog out of a tight space is pretty easy....they'll come to you for just about anything. A cat....not so easy. I was able to scare him enough to get him to run out from underneath the car so we could trap him. This episode would replay several times before we moved away.

Sinatra liked to hide/sleep in the most unusual of places. His most unusual - the bathroom sink. I woke up one night to use the bathroom. As I turned the corner, I saw a lump of something in the sink. I hadn't a clue what it could be, so I snuck up to it and could make out the white and black markings. Sinatra was curled up in the sink, fast asleep. He still likes to find strange places to hide/sleep in.

Over the years, Sinatra has calmed down quite a bit. As he has calmed down, he has also put on quite a bit of weight. I tell him it's because he's part mountain cat - he's just big boned. His body is still in mountain mode, so he just requires a bit more blubber than these eastern/coastal cats. He's pretty secure in his heftiness. He can still run and frolic like a spry little kitten...when he feels like it. We don't feed him much. I took him to the vet and got reprimanded for his weight. (I haven't taken him back since....) I did, however, put him on a diet. I have news for the vet - it didn't work. He gets 1/4 a cup of food twice a day, and he hasn't lost a pound.

As I mentioned in my post about Tucker, Sinatra is the king of the roost around here, and he knows it. He lets us think we are in control, but he knows it all revolves around him. Most of the time - it's true.

Here are some fast facts about Sinatra - all are true:

1. He loves cardboard boxes (big or small) and will jump into one at the first chance he gets. Christmas is always fun.....

2. He doesn't meow loudly unless he REALLY wants your attention. He doesn't feel the need to waste his energy if he doesn't have to.

3. He loves to be outside, but his outside time must be monitored (b/c of neighborhood cats who like to wander). He has stipulations to being outside - it must be on his terms and the temperature must be to his liking. If you try to get him inside before he's ready, he throws a tantrum.

4. He sleeps with us and is the only member of our pet family who has that luxury. He sleeps at the end of the bed, comes and goes as he pleases, and moves to the living room when it's time for him to get up. (When Collen arrives, he will be kicked out. He was kicked out when Ayden arrived as well....)

5. If he is starving (which, according to him is all the time), he will wake us up at 5:30 - on the dot - in the morning to feed him. His method? Knocking things off of our nightstands or making as much noise as possible.

6. He doesn't like to admit it, but he loves to be rubbed....and will even give in to a good brushing now and then.

7. He hates to have his ears cleaned, and it's a nightmarish task.

8. When the notion strikes him, he will run full speed from one end of the house to the other. He gets this gleam in his eyes like nothing I've ever seen before. I stay out of his way when these moods strike b/c with cats...you just never know.

9. He prefers Jeremy over me. He follows Jeremy wherever he goes - I think it's just because Jeremy is the one who usually feeds him. It's not about love - it's about food....

10. Believe it or not, but it's true - he LOVES to listen to Frank Sinatra sing. You think I'm kidding? I tested it because I couldn't even believe it. I sat down one night and played him all kinds of music - Judy Garland, The Beatles, Jim Croce, Dean Martin, Michael Jackson, and Frank Sinatra. When Frank's voice came through the speakers, he ran to the speakers and put his face as close as possible to them. He was enthralled.... When a different singer's voice played, he walked away....not caring at all. It's bizarre....

11. Sinatra is a much better car-rider than Tucker. He's more of the dog while Tucker is more like a cat. Tucker MUST be covered by a blanket while riding in the car, and he will NOT move a muscle. He sits frozen, shaking for the entire ride. Sinatra got used to traveling when we lived in the mountains because we'd take him home with us every other weekend or so when we visited our families. He meanders around the car until he finds a comfy spot, and then he stays there for most of the trip. He loves to peer out the window and see what's going on. Weird animals, I tell you...

12. He and Tucker are best buds. When we introduced Tucker to the family, Sinatra wasn't a big fan. However, as Tucker got bigger, and Sinatra realized he wasn't going to be rid of the cute little monster, he gave in and decided to give Tucker a chance. They pal around during the day. Where one goes, the other is somewhere closeby. Sinatra is the instigator, but Tucker gets blamed for almost everything. Cunning cat.... I'm sure he snickers to himself from time to time saying, "That stupid dog. Falls for it everytime..."

Having a cat in the house is not something I love, but I wouldn't part with him for anything. Sinatra has been with us through everything....and we really do love him. He may not get all the attention most of the time, but we appreciate the comfort he brings to our lives. He sticks to himself most of the time, but he makes sure to give you a little leg rub or kitty massage from time to time just to remind you that he cares. They say cats can live up to 20 years. I think I can do 15 more years with Mr. Sinatra.

Here are some pictures of Sinatra:

That belly. It swishes back and forth when he runs. It used to graze the ground, but he has toned it up a bit. He's hefty and he likes it.

On rare occasions, he gets treats. When he hears that bag shaking, he comes running.
There's no such thing as a photo opportunity with Sinatra. He's elusive and likes to play shy. However, he is a kind old soul, and life wouldn't be same without him. I believe that if he could talk, he'd have some very wise words for us all. And also some very smart alecky comments...



  1. I love Sinatra....Frank, not your cat, although Sinatra the Cat seems great too, haha. I've loved Frank since highschool, i'm 27. That's Life is my favorite and there are many more I adore. You just can't match Franks voice! makes me want to listen to some right now!
    Thanks for sharing your pet family with us!

  2. Wow, that's a big kitty! So beautiful.

    I love Frank too :)Oh, and NC is my dream state, I LOVE the mountains. I've always said I would love to live there. Maybe we will have to make a trip to see y'all one day!

    Love you, Kelley

  3. What a character :) And really similar to my big guy, including the (lots of) black-and-white fur, sink sleeping, love of boxes, and running at the sound of a treat bag. Wonder if he's got some Maine Coon in him like mine does? Cats can be such funny creatures, but when it comes down to it they're great companions. Mine kept me company many a night when Husband was gone as well. Hope Sinatra doesn't take it too personally when he gets booted out of your room when Collen arrives...

  4. Hey J -

    - You know, I've also wondered if he has some Maine Coon in him, too. He definitely has the size and the fur for one. As far as taking it personally when he gets kicked out - eh...he's a "go with the flow" kind of guy. I think he'll be just fine :)

  5. I loved that about NC too--though I admit I loved the beach part more than the mountains, but sure did love weekend trips to Blowing Rock!!

    Sinatra rocks! He reminds me of a cat I grew up with, Misty...very similar sounding in personality too!!!