The Distinguished Frankencat

I have this super awesome cat named Denali. She is awesome. SUPER awesome.

This is her:


She was my sister’s cat until my sister moved in with the woman whom she would eventually marry and who is deathly (I’m not kidding about that. Really. DEATHLY.) allergic to cats. Denali lost the power struggle between human love and cat love. It probably worked out for the best for my sister.

It definitely worked out best for me, because I got Denali.

Denali is persnickety. She ONLY liked my sister for a long time. Then she ONLY liked me. Now she likes Alex too. Although we still laugh about the night that Alex was sleeping because it was 3 am and Denali, who sleeps on my pillow above my head, freaked out for absolutely no reason and started attacking Alex’s head.

This is only made funnier by the fact that Denali is a polydactyl cat, meaning she has a ton of extra toes on each foot, making her gigantic paw attacks even more deadly.

Denali, however, does NOT care for the children. I should repeat that. DENALI DOES NOT CARE FOR THE CHILDREN.

She used to hang out under our bunk beds and if I asked my kids to crawl under there to pick up toys, they would start sobbing about how they were afraid of Denali. She made her feelings about kids known.

She hangs out upstairs all day and only comes down after the kids go to bed. If a child gets within, say, about three feet of her, she starts hissing. Every once in a while, a kid will wander into the room after their bedtime, catching Denali with her proverbial pants down. Sometimes, if Alex or I has her on one of our laps, we’ll let them pet her, because she is less likely to strike at them if we are holding her.

An angrier cat you have never seen when that happens. She flattens her little ears and manages to look more put out than you’d think would be possible considering she is incapable of frowning.

All of this information about Denali is to preface the fact that she had, like, a ping pong ball-sized cancerous tumor that I found a couple of weeks ago and she had surgery Monday to have it removed.

My kids are totally flipped out about it. Sam says he’s never going to touch her again. (From inside Denali’s head: “I should have done this YEARS ago!”) I think they heard us explain surgery and fixated on the “cut her open” bit. In their minds, I believe that they think that her incision site is at risk of popping open at any time for the rest of her life.

Kind of like a real life, furry piñata. Only instead of candy, there is blood and organs.

This is why I have to hide the cat from them until her fur grows back, because they will not do well if they run into Denali 2.0: Frankencat.

Denali: “Why must you humiliate me on the interwebz?”

I’m happy to report that she seems to be doing well. We napped for a long time together this afternoon. Her presence made me feel like I was being a good cat mom instead of a loser who can’t keep her eyes open for more than three hours at a stretch. The dog slept with us too. But she is legitimately a layabout.

I might have to help her recuperate tomorrow also. It depends how tired I am.

Awesome. SUPER awesome.

Cross your fingers that her recovery is smooth and that her cancer is gone.


Also, over at White Knuckle Parenting this week, I wrote about the constant running narrative about good manners that I force my kids to listen to in public. If I have to say, “Look out for people!” fewer than 15 times a day, it is likely that we haven’t left the house.

28 thoughts on “The Distinguished Frankencat

  1. Hooray Denali! She looks soooo annoyed in that Frankencat pic :-) Best of luck to you both. Rest well.

  2. I definitely think you need to help Denali recover. If she’s like my cats, she insists on sleeping with you when YOU don’t feel well, right? You’re just returning the fuzzy favor. Sleeping on you will make her feel all cozy, loved, and comfy. Excellent for speedy recovery.

  3. Poor Denali! Good thoughts are coming her way for a speedy recovery. Also I think you would get along with my husband- or should I call him Mr. “I liked the dog better when he had lyme disease and napped all the time.”

  4. She does seem like a VERY GOOD CAT. My stomach dropped when you got to the part about the tumor, and I hope she’ll be FINE ALL FINE.

  5. Fingers crossed! She really is a super awesome cat and I hope she heals quickly and is cancer free! Have you watched the show My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet? I bet he could teach Denali to like the kids. ;)

  6. My dog doesn’t like children either. Actually, she likes bigger ones, around your children’s’ sizes, but she finds toddlers and preschoolers to be frightening. I will not tell her about this tumor thing as she would probably make it happen.

  7. Fabby cat photos! Looks a lot like a lovely cat I had before I too married a cat-allergic person. Tough choice. Our greyhound (almost same colour as Denali) had a big tumour removed a year ago and is doing really well now, (shaved bit back to normal now too) so here’s hoping for a quick recovery for your feisty feline.

  8. I’ve taken this as a person quest to make the cat like me. With enough time, Denali would be my friend, too!! Wishing her a speedy recovery!!

  9. We keep her separated. It’s why we still have baby gates up. And I put her completely away (in our closed bedroom) when we have friends over. She’s juuuuust starting to like Elizabeth. You know, just in time for us to get a new terrifying baby.

  10. This wierdness thing seems to go with the polydactle thing. Mine has been known to attack sleeping heads and likes to hide out on the counter just inside the bathroom door so he can take a swipe at anyone walking by. Maybe they just crave attention?

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