The myth that cats have multiple lives exists all over the world. According to petplan.co.uk, certain regions of Spain believe a cat has seven, and Turkish and Arabic legends think the number is six. Even the Bard mentions multiple lives of cats during a conversation with Tybalt and Mercutio. It’s easy to think cats have nine lives. They are notorious for getting into situations where other animals wouldn’t make it out unscathed. However, cats can somehow jump off high surfaces like stepping stones and getting into spaces that very few other animals would be able to maneuver. Since humans don’t have multiple lives like cats, some feline shenanigans have caused their owners to lose sleep, mostly the noises of them diving off furniture and chasing inv invisible mice in the middle of the night. Whatever it is about these invincible felines, their owners treasure them as members of their families. There is an English proverb that states: “A cat has nine lives. For three, he plays; for three, he strays, and the last three, he stays.” Frankie’s story is one that indeed makes the Fitzsimons hope that Frankie is on the three where he stays.
On the evening of May 19th, 2021, it was a typical night in the Fitzsimons house, except for one thing. The family’s sixteen-year-old cat was not in the place and not responding when they called him inside. After realizing something had happened, Rachel Fitzsimons, joined by her husband John and their children Thea and Remy, looked all over the neighborhood and never found him. They asked the neighbors of Stretton Warrington Cheshire to help with the search, and still no trace. Several days went by, and the family grew more worried. Frankie never showed up, the family never stopped looking, but eventually, they started fearing the worst. A few days after Frankie went missing, Rachel Fitzsimons was driving down an English highway. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a cat that resembled Frankie. However, she was unable to stop and look because of traffic. When she got home she told her husband John what she had seen and asked him to try to get a closer look.
She was positive it was the families missing cat. According to vnexplorer.net, she said: “The markings matched Frankie, and we live close to the motorway, so we sure it was him.” Her husband John went to the side of the road, as close as he could get to verify if this was the missing cat. It was difficult to make an identification because of the state of the feline’s body. Yet, after two days and a lot of English rain, the family knew Frankie would be home if he could, so sadly, they realized it had to be him. After they got home, they called the highway patrol to pick up his remains. He had no head, tail and was not able to be verified by chip. Nonetheless, the family picked up his remains and tried to determine the best way to proceed. No one thought to look in the bag because they knew the sight would be far too traumatic. The Fitzsimons didn’t want to bury him in the backyard. It just seemed too final. So, they called the vet and asked for suggestions. He was still in the bag from the highway patrol when they brought him to the vet for cremation. Mrs. Fitzmons felt that cremating Frankie would be the best way to help her children cope. Her son was the one taking it the hardest since Frankie typically spent his nights curled up in his room. That Monday, Frankie’s askes were collected, and the youngest Fitzsimon slept with them next to his bed. However, the tale is not over yet.
Three days after they picked up Frankie’s ashes, the family got an unexpected visitor. Early Thursday morning, they heard a tiny meow at the back door. To their surprise, it was Frankie. The feline didn’t realize all the trouble that he had caused. When he returned home, he was a little worse for wear, thinner, matted fur, and hungry. Yet, the family was grateful he wasn’t the ashes they’d brought home from the vet. Even though the family is still shocked, they are happy to have their pet home. Frankie started life as a rescue cat and has been with the family for fourteen years. According to Newsweek, Rachel Fitzsimon has one question “We would like to know whose pet we cremated.”
The Fitzsimons will never know what adventures Frankie had during those several days. Perhaps he had a couple of play lives left and wanted to use them up. However, during the days he strayed, lost sleep on the human side, and hopefully, he’s done with those three lives. The family is hoping that Frankie is ready to embrace his stay lives and has no intentions of getting lost again. Although, much like other cats if he does he’ll probably find a uniquely cat way of twisting out of trouble.
Humans and their pets have a great bond and after almost a whole life together like Frankie with the Fitzsimons, saying goodbye is heartbreaking. Often, a simple neighborhood search recovers a lost pet, and sadly, others are found on the side of the road. Yet, when one returns to its family after thinking it’s lost forever is a true miracle. Whether or not the English rhyme is true, Frankie is another cat who certainly has nine lives. Many of the myths about nine lives are because no matter what happens, a cat will always come out on top and live well beyond the hijinx inherent to a cat’s nature. Even though he worried his humans immeasurably, Frankie’s disappearance is another example of an independent cat getting into a situation and coming home for many more cat years and shenanigans.