My Defective Life

Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

In Honor of Our 7-Year Anniversary, A Brief Photo-Bio of My Cats Franny & Zooey


Nicknames: Nanners, Franny Bananz, Nanners Bananners, Fatty

How She Came to Live with Me: All three of my cats are strays from my neighborhood. And really, how could I NOT adopt her with this cute little face peeking out at me from the garden every day when I got home from work:

She’d also pop up in strange places, typically half-way up things she shouldn’t be climbing, such as telephone poles. Since she was just a baby, she latched on to my cat Zooey (another stray in the neighborhood at the time) and would follow her around like a little sister. Every day they’d greet me when I got home from work. And so the love story begins.

Franny Fact: The girl now weighs 16 lbs.

True Story: Franny has sat in my lap one time only in the 7 years she’s lived with me. It was a short bit after I adopted her—my boyfriend and I were sitting on the couch, and she climbed up carefully on my lap while my boyfriend and I held our collective breath so as not to freak her out. She sat there for a few minutes and then hopped down. She never ever sat in my lap again. I consider that one time to be her thank you to me for adopting her.

Unique characteristics: Does NOT like getting picked up. The last time she had to go into the vet, we spent a good 30 minutes of chasing and escaping. When she finally tired herself out as much as possible, I managed to grab her 16-lb ass and she promptly pissed all over me and all over the floor and then shredded both my hands/wrists with her talons. I still have scars.

Otherwise: She is the sweetest cat ever. She loves to lay with me and nest up against the inside of my knees or my back when I sleep. She also loves to lay on my legs when I stretch out on my couch to watch a movie/tv.

Fact: Franny is the most talkative and whiny of all three cats.

Quirk: She likes to do a move that I call the Shamu or the Free Willy when she wants to be pet. She raises her front paws off the ground and arches her back through the air like a whale breaking out of the ocean, like Free Willy:


Another true story: She once had a piece of poop chase her through the house for 10 minutes. Being the paranoid cat she is, when the poop got stuck in her fur on its way out, she assumed the worst: that something was out to get her and trying to chase her down. She raced through the house on a 90-degree day until she was panting and exhausted. It took me 10 minutes to calm her down and realize that what was chasing her was her own poop.

Franny Fact:  I’ve only been able to cut her nails once in 7 years. And it required me being really really drunk to do so.

Unique characteristics: Franny was never weaned correctly, so whenever she drinks water from her bowls, she does what we’ve come to call The Franny Shuffle. She dances and kneads the floor around her bowls until she feels she’s sufficiently stimulated the flow of water. Only then will she drink. It is an amusing and lengthy process.

True Story: She once fell off my roof, an ordeal that consisted of me climbing on a neighbor’s hole-ridden garage in the dark, trying not to fall through, trying to lure her into a carrier. She vanished for about 8 hours. My other cat cried for her out the window. Finally, at 6am, she showed up back in the yard, and I was able to lure her back inside with my other cat, Zooey. The first thing she did when she finally got back inside: run to the door to go back out on the roof.

Franny Fact: She is the most-loved cat in the household—both my cats adore her (even if Zooey DOES pretend to be annoyed by her—she ALWAYS defends Franny’s honor whenever any cat-wrestling goes down).





Nicknames: Bucket, Fuss-bucket, Buccateer, B

How She Came to Live with Me: Like Franny, Zooey was a stray from the neighborhood. She was living in a desk that my front neighbors were unable to get through their doors and ended up leaving on their porch as a result. Every day she’d greet me when I got home from work, Franny trailing behind.

Zooey Fact: Zooey is the most laid back of all three cats. She LOVES attention from visitors, but she also loves to make you work for it. So whenever someone comes over, she eventually will lay down as far away as possible from the visitor and roll over on her back so that they will stand up, walk all the way over, and pet her belly.

True Story: Zooey has a toy named Screaming Ball:


It is so-named because how she plays with it is to run around the house with it in her mouth, making screaming and sobbing noises that sound like I’m torturing her. Her favorite times to play Screaming Ball are (of course) in the middle of the night & when I have company over. 

Zooey Fact: Zooey is kind of the unspoken gargoyle of my roof. She likes to sit on the very edge of it and watch any cats, groundhogs, neighbors that pass by below:

True Story: The words “FLOWER POWER” once caused Zooey to fling herself off of my roof:

While my other cats were entertained by the laser with the words Flower Power on it and chased it around, Zooey felt that her only option when confronted by the horrific sight was to jump onto the pavement below. Thankfully I found her immediately and the only thing she hurt was her lip.

Random Zooey Fact: Zooey has been spayed… TWICE. Apparently they didn’t get everything the first time and, to my horror, she went into heat again about a year later resulting in a second surgery.

True Story: The summer after I adopted Zooey, I came to find out that she once belonged to my batshit crazy neighbor (who used to ride her bike on ice in the winter with a baby slung under her armpit). The neighbor saw Zooey chilling out on my roof with me, and her son insisted that she come over and ask for her back. Apparently my neighbor had put her and several other cats out to deal with the winter after finding out from their landlord they would be evicted for having cats and (amusingly/ironically) because the APL wouldn’t/couldn’t take them in immediately. Instead of waiting for an appointment, she let them outside (unspayed and unneutered) to fend for themselves in the Cleveland winter. So I of course told her hell no she could not have Zooey back. Thankfully she was really nice about it so I didn’t have to throw down with her.

Zooey Fact: Zooey is the most aloof and independent of all my cats. But when she’s in the mood to snuggle, she likes to do it as close to your face as possible:

Zooey Fact: She is very insistent on what I call her Goodnight Routine. Every night before I go to bed, she runs up into the cubby in my bathroom and waits for me. I then have to spend about ten minutes petting her away from all the other cats before she allows me to finally go to bed.


The Dynamic Duo