On the 4th of July I always remember and think of Striper, one of my dad's stray cats that he brought inside his house. Striper was a great climber and loved to climb on both me and my dad. He would like to go on my dad's back and up by his neck. One day my dad danced with Striper on his back in front of the mirror. Too bad I didn't have my camera with me that day! Striper didn't mind all the junk in the basement and liked climbing on the desk down there. The basement was Striper's territory while Blackie and Timi owned the main floor and Softie, Sweet Thing and Sylvester ruled the upstairs.
I nicknamed Striper "The Entertainer" because that cat would do the funniest things. He loved catnip so much that even when Harry put it in the high kitchen cupboard, Striper managed to climb up there, open the door and get it out! I brought him upstairs now and then when I went over to play with him. He didn't mind being held like the other cats. He tried to avoid the other cats and for the most part, he did.
Poor striper had some kind of blood problem and grew very week very quickly. He climbed up in the drop ceiling of the basement one day and would not come down for days! When cats don't feel well and are about to die, they go off looking for a quiet spot away from people and that's exactly what Striper was doing. Harry could hear some mowing and finally found Striper up there. He set up a ladder and we tried coaxing the cat down using tuna, cat treats but nothing worked.
Finally, on one 4th of July, Striper came down on his own and was extremely weak. Dad called me early that morning to let me know. I was supposed to be in a parade to hand out fliers for our Vacation Bible School but I told Gerard to go without me because I wanted to help dad take Striper to the vet. It being a holiday, we had to go to an emergency care place. When we got there, the vet said the cat was very, very sick and should just be put down. Dad and I said our last good-bye to poor Striper that day but brought him back home and Gerard helped dad bury the cat in his backyard.
Read about all of dad's cats and more about Striper in My Funny Dad, Harry. click here to order (available at Amazon.com or bn.com). Bookstores can also order it for you or contact me for a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org.