McDonald’s cat now accepts new diet

FRANKIE SAYS RELAX: Frankie the Frankton cat with foster mum Jessica Watson. Ben Curran/Fairfax NZ

For the past year patrons of the Frankton McDonald’s have been known to grab an extra burger, for the cat who lived in the restaurant’s car park, even to the point where he could barely eat anything else.

But the days of cheeseburgers and fries are over for “Frankie the Frankton Maccas Cat”, with the fast-food loving feline now safe in the care of the Waikato SPCA.

“He’s on a strict cat food-only diet now,” said Waikato SPCA field officer Jessica Watson.

Affectionately dubbed “Frankie” by McDonald’s workers, the black and white cat has been resident under the Golden Arches for the past year or so, ever since the residents of a nearby block of flats were evicted and the then-kitten was left behind.

Frankie set up shop in the car park to survive and quickly learned to follow cars as they came through the drive-through, running up to windows and waiting for patrons to throw him the odd chicken nugget or hunk of beef patty.

But a year of living rough – and a diet of fast food – took its toll and despite attempts by McDonald’s workers and concerned members of the public to catch him, Frankie started to slip into bad health.

But all that changed when Ms Watson, a field officer with the Waikato SPCA and regular McDonald’s customer, spotted Frankie and decided to take him into her care while he waits for a family to adopt him.

“I estimate he has lived in the McDonald’s car park for 12 to 18 months,” Ms Watson said.

“He definitely became a little Mr Frankton and 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.”

A looming winter and a decline in health meant Ms Watson had to act fast to take Frankie into care and, after checking with McDonald’s staff, the cat ended his tenure in Frankton.

“When I first took him home he refused to eat anything because it wasn’t McDonald’s and 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?’ But now he’s a big, and healthy, eater.”