Franklin, our two-year-old orange striped cat, was a constant companion and a never-ending source of entertainment. He had a habit of suddenly running across the apartment at top speed as if chasing some phantom object. He chased and swiped at flies with an amazingly intense focus, and loved to swat crumpled up pieces of paper across the floor, only to run after them and swat them again. But more than anything else, he loved cat food, which was part of the reason he had become enormously oversized. He also loved to stretch out in all kinds of crazy ways, be constantly underfoot, and scratch the carpet with his claws.
Franklin was first found in an abandoned lot in the West 130s in Harlem in May 2003. My girlfriend’s former roommate found him at an ASPCA shelter on East 92nd Street in July 2003. When the roommate moved out of the country in May 2004, my girlfriend took custody of him, and he remained in their two-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights until May 2005, when we moved to the Financial District. He was extremely frightened by that move, and in fact spent 72 hours crouched behind a toilet, staring at a wall, before gaining the courage to come out and greet us. Yesterday, he was hit by a car and killed. He was taken to NYU Downtown Hospital before the police took him to the Manhattan Animal Care and Control office on East 110th Street, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Franklin, we will miss you.