Sunday, December 15, 2013

Harry Houdini Bryson Douglas Whitesell

Here's the story
Of a cat named Harry
Who was born ten long years ago

His momma kicked him
Out of the family
Cuz he was abnormal

Here's the story
of a mom named Barb
Who heard this kitten crying, all alone

They were destined
To find each other
And that's the way they all became a family

Raise your hand if you don't know who Harry is.  My former co-workers certainly knew Harry.  He spent his first couple of weeks with me at work until he was politely asked to leave.  The constant screaming might have been an issue. 

When I found baby Harry, he was cold, wet and hungry.  I swept him up, dried him off and fed him watered down milk that night, and went to the pet store the next day to stock up on all things needed to keep a baby kitten alive.  He gained weight and thrived despite chronic diarrhea. (this would be where the constant screaming came into play)  We later learned he suffered from a mild case of Cerebellar Hypoplasia, basically Cerebral Palsy for cats. 

He quickly became a beloved member of our family, and Greg was particularly attached to him.  He also developed a bit of a mean streak.  Like, when he was 3 months old, and Greg and I weren't home.  Erin and Brent stopped by, and Harry wouldn't let them in the back door.  They were finally able to run him off to the basement and come inside, but he was not happy about it.   

Another odd thing about Harry.  He didn't meow; he screamed.  And once he figured out his scream would scare people, he relished in it.  He also liked to reach out and swipe people as they walked past him.  It was particularly funny when they didn't know he was nearby, thus not expecting it.  There was really only one person that he couldn't act up around, and that was Greg.  For some reason, he just knew better than to mess with Daddy. 


Once Harry was old enough to stay outside, he became a part time house cat.  He only used the litter box periodically, which was big problem.  For the last several years, he only came in at night, so he could sleep with his daddy.  First thing in the morning, he was back outside.  During the winter, Greg took pity on him and let him stay in the shop all day, out of the bad weather. 

Visitors to Greg's shop were all very familiar with Harry and his ways.  On the rare occasion someone new would stop by, he loved to trick them into thinking Harry was such a sweet, loving kitty -- "here, you can pet him" he would say, knowing exactly what was about to happen. 

When the grandkids showed up, Harry was not amused, to say the least.  He tolerated them at best, and always made sure they knew he was boss.  Both kids learned very quickly not to mess with Harry UNLESS Greg was holding him.  Old Harry knew better than to be mean to those kids when he was in Greg's arms. 

I'm sure by now you've figured out why I'm writing this homage to Harry.  Today, he finally picked on the wrong dog, and lost the battle.  I tried to get him to the vet, but he just couldn't hold on that long.  It's a pretty sad night here at the Bryson farm.  About now, Harry should be laying on the couch with Greg, snuggling up to him. 

Will I miss stepping into cat poop on my way to the basement some mornings?  Definitely not.  But I'll miss those occasional times he felt generous enough to let me love on him for a few minutes, before he told me in no uncertain terms I was done. 

Now is the part when I say rest in peace Harry old Buddy.  But I think we all know peace wasn't in Harry's destiny.  I tend to think he's down stairs giving the devil a run for his money.  Get 'em Harry!!!