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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

One Can Not Live On McDonalds Alone

Recently, Elise Solé, a Shine staff writer reported about the black-and-white homeless tomcat, dubbed Frankie (photo) by McDonald's staff and customers.  As a kitten he was abandoned by his owners. So the cat made his home in the parking lot of a local McDonald's where he would beg for chicken nuggets or fries from cars as they exited the drive-through lane.

But just as the human body can't properly function from a junk food diet, Frankie's couldn't either and the McDonald's staff became concerned for his health.

One day, Jessica Watson, a field officer with the Waikato SPCA and regular McDonald's customer, spotted Frankie. After noting his swollen face, eyelids that wouldn't properly close, and matted coat, she brought him into her care and launched a search for his permanent owners.

"I estimate he has lived in the McDonald's parking lot for 12 to 18 months," Watson told "Everyone knew to keep an eye out for him. You would go through the drive-through and ask for a burger for you and an extra patty for Frankie. He would watch you and trot after the car, wait until you stopped the car and then you would toss him the meat. It was his little routine."

Thankfully, after a few weeks of living inside and eating nutritious food, Frankie's eyes are clear and his coat is shiny. "He wasn't overweight," said Watson, "but McDonald's wouldn't meet the nutritional requirements for a cat. They need very high levels of protein and I wouldn't think takeaways would provide that."

But weaning Frankie off burgers and fries wasn't easy.  "When I first took him home he refused to eat anything because it wasn't McDonald's," said Watson. "I seriously considered going back there to get him a burger. I would put pet food down and he would give me a look like, 'What is that?'"

It took a few days but Frankie has quit his fast food habit and consumes water and cat biscuits. And he always asks for seconds. "He's a big, and healthy, eater," said Watson.
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