Frankie’s Story




This is the story of how beautiful, three year old, one-eyed Frankie came to spend the balance of his life with us on the Sunshine Coast – lucky boy!

First, I must back-track to a day in late February, when we’d travelled to Sydney the day before for a family court matter, and then had to wait for most of the day for a late afternoon return flight to the Sunshine Coast.

On our return home at about 7 o’clock that evening my beautiful big Tiger was keen to greet me, as were the other three cats, but he was my favourite. I had got Tiger as a kitten (my last!) and he was a beautiful 8 kg six year old. You’ll see that from the photo of him.

Tiger 2


I made my usual fuss of him, as I loved him dearly, but, unfortunately, and totally unexpectedly, two hours later he had a massive heart attack and passed away, fortunately very quickly. We rushed him down the hill (we live on the top of Buderim) to the emergency vet hospital, but he was gone. I had suspected he might have the defective HCM gene, and the vet confirmed that this had probably been the case. More about that at another time!

Ken and I were totally devastated, of course. It was a heartbreaking end to a day that had not gone as well as it could have.

However, Ken is very patient where our cats and I are concerned, and was happy to help me look for another cat, as he knew how much I missed Tiger. His passing had left a huge hole – for me, anyway. As a result Ken found Frankie advertised on Gumtree, looking to be rehomed by his Mum, Amanda. Amanda already had an old female cat, Saba, who had not taken to Frankie. I have to say, we’ve also found this with our female cats when introducing male kittens or cats.

Amanda had adopted Frankie from the RSPCA the previous July after he had been handed in with a badly damaged eye, which was later removed by the RSPCA vet. He was also desexed and microchipped at that time. Probably a lot of people would have been reticent about taking a cat recovering from such a traumatic injury, but Amanda took him home and did a wonderful job with him, giving him the love and care he really needed at that time.

However, Amanda’s work as a night superintendent at one of the large clubs in Sydney meant that she really did not have the time to spend with Frankie, who is very affectionate, and loves company and being petted. So ultimately she reluctantly made the decision to rehome Frankie – a very difficult decision as we know she loved him dearly – as do we. We believe her Mum also helped and supported her in this difficult decision.

As a result Ken flew to Sydney from the Sunshine Coast, picked up a hire car at the airport, and drove to Amanda’s home to collect a very unwilling, and very vocal, Frankie. Apparently they had great difficulty putting him in his carrier, and by the time Ken left for the 40 minute drive back to the airport both Amanda and Frankie were crying – Frankie very loudly. Ken rang me from the airport, very upset, and said he felt like a baby snatcher. I did my best to comfort both of them!

Unfortunately, as only some flights carry animals, they had to fly back into Brisbane on a late afternoon flight, which was fine for picking up Ken, but we had great difficulty finding the cargo animal collection place for Virgin Airlines. I was in a panic, of course, as it was a late Saturday afternoon/early evening and I had horrible visions of Frankie being locked up for the weekend; incorrectly, of course.

We finally got to the right place and Frankie was brought out in his carrier, looking quite composed, actually – far more so than I was! I spoke a few words to him and put my fingers through the cage door, and he seemed to be okay, thank goodness.

We were expecting a very noisy trip back to Buderim (about an hour’s drive), but there was not one peep out of young Frankie, until he gave a bit of a squeak just as we turned the last couple of corners to home. He seemed to sense that we were almost at our destination.

Frankie spent his first few days in the master bedroom, which has large bi-fold doors onto a very large deck, with a wonderful view across to the Blackall Range. I had done this with our previous youngster, Riley (now also known as Skippy because of his long legs!). There is a cat opening from the deck into this bedroom, but we closed it off to keep our other cats out of there until they got used to each other. However, they could still see each other (our two naughty young ginger males) through the glass, and do what cats do – hiss ferociously (just a big act really) at each other.

Frankie actually spent a lot of his first few days in the walk-in robe, behind the shoes, peering up at us with his one bright eye. The fact that he’d lost an eye upset me at first, but I’ve got used to it, and he certainly copes very well. However, I’ve become a “helicopter parent” and get a bit panicky when they roll around the floor playing and having the odd squabble, as young cats do.

But Frankie has settled in very well and is a source of much entertainment and joy for us. My elder sister Enid, who is now a little forgetful, particularly loves him, and she has a framed photograph of Frankie on her bedside table – which amuses me as I’ve never known her to be so besotted by a cat before!

Frankie doesn’t jump on the large cat trees, of which we have four, on the deck or walk around the large deck railing, but I guess this has something to do with his ability, or inability maybe, to gauge the distance to jump up. I’m not sure about that, but I do know he loves all the chairs (there are ten) on the deck, and we have to work around whatever his current choice is.

Frankie loves his food, to the point where I’m a bit concerned that he’s becoming a little overweight, but I’m hopeful that once he gets used to the variety of food available that will settle down.

He’s also a great talker, and has just come into the office and is saying something to me. He always makes his presence known, especially at 4.30/5.00 a.m.! Fortunately we’re early risers, so this doesn’t bother us. It has probably come about because of Amanda’s working hours, I would think.

So this has been a bit of a journey for us, and Frankie, but the end result has certainly been worth the effort and the cost of bringing him to live with us. I still grieve for Tiger, sometimes quite a lot, but I like to think that Frankie was meant to come to us, and we love him very much.

We also thank Amanda, to whom I still send photos and keep in touch, and her Mum for letting us have Frankie. He’s a wonderful, kind fellow and we’ll, hopefully, have lots of years of his wonderful, loving company.


Cat shelves

Cats like nothing better than to sun themselves on a shelf in the back garden, or if the sun’s not shining snooze on you bed.


All you need to make a few shelves for your cat/s are a few metal brackets, a strip of exterior plywood and a piece of artificial grass (all from your favourite hardware store).

If you install one of our outdoor cat enclosures, they can sun themselves in happily and you can leave them with complete peace of mind, knowing they are safe.


Sales to date

Sales to date

Having passed the 500 cat enclosure for outdoors sales milestone some time ago, and now well on our way to 550, we thought we’d put together a short history of how we’ve developed over the last six to seven years.

During that time we’ve moved from the Gold Coast to Carindale, then to Bribie Island for a short time, and finally up to Buderim, where we’ve bought a lovely house on the top right by Buderim Forest and the Falls.  Of course these moves have necessitated time offline each time, which has slowed us down somewhat, but in spite of that we’re powering along quite nicely.  As most of us know from experience, the telcoes are not always terribly efficient – in fact, mostly not!

However, we continued to send lots of enclosure kits all over Australia as – we are a national company, not local.  Being able to quote from customers’ photos and measurements has enabled us to do this in a very cost effective way, and thus enable many cat lovers to install enclosures for their cats, whatever their location or budget.

The netting we use is UV treated 19mm square pre-stretched polyethylene.  It is very strong and durable, and we offer a 10 year guarantee on our netting and 2 years on all fixings and zips.  It comes in stone beige and black, and both colours are unobtrusive.  We have used both colours in our half dozen enclosures in our homes and either colour works well.

Buderim deck with the blinds down

Our enclosures are generally attached to an existing structure; e.g. a deck/patio or side of house (between the fence and the side of the house) and we ask prospective customers to send a couple of photos of the area to be enclosed, together with dimensions (height to eaves or deck/patio ceiling, length, width) and the number of entry zips they require.

One of the questions we’re often asked is if our enclosures can be taken down and put up again.  They certainly can, and we did this on a number of weekends when we were selling on of our houses on the Gold Coast and we were having “open homes”.

However, if a customer is moving and wishes to take the netting, etc, with him or her we’re happy to help with a redesign to fit the new situation, and also to supply any extra netting and fixings required.

Another question we’re often asked by people who are renting is how the enclosures are attached to the house or fence, because, as we know, landlords aren’t happy to have drill holes, however small, all over their properties – understandable!

In this situation we ask people to send the usual couple of photographs and dimension (height, length, width) and Ken will suggest where they can best situate their enclosure, using downpipes and hooks into the guttering where possible.  This, more often than not, suits all concerned, especially the cats when they can get out into the fresh air!

Regarding snakes – as set out above, our netting is 19mm square so only a very small snake (a tree snake) could get through, and certainly not a carpet snake.  I’ve had personal experience with a large carpet snake a number of years ago when it grabbed my five month old kitten.  I actually had to pick up the whole “bundle” (snake wrapped around my baby!) and grapple with it.  It finally let go and I threw it away, putting my back out in doing so.

Sam, my kitten, needed to be taken to the vet for a check-over and anti-inflammatory injection, and I needed to go to the doctor for a tetanus injection as, unbeknown to me in my terror, the snake had bitten me all up the arm.  It was a horrible experience, so carpet snakes are naturally my main concern.