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Dave’s Dad Tangles with Possessive Cat

Dave Spencer Family Archives; Peter Curbishley/Flickr

While most of us are remembering great stories about our dads as Father’s Day approaches, I think we’d all agree that these stories are great recollections at any time during the year.

My dad was a funeral director and licensed mortician. He had a company phone in our house so he could take death calls while he was at home. It was nothing for the phone to ring at 3AM and he was off to God knows where.

One time, before I was born, he was called to a home where a man had died in his basement. When he arrived at the home, he went downstairs to begin arrangements for the body to be transported.

But he ran into a roadblock…a solid black cat.

The cat was sitting on the man’s chest, and as Dad approached the body, the cat raised its back and hissed at him. As he came even closer, the cat started that creepy, otherworldly growl that cats can emit, and Dad froze in his tracks.

I mean, he did not move.

And the cat just sat there staring at him. I can imagine how that must have looked, with the basement being dark and the cat being black with the only thing visible being its eyes.

So, Dad told the man’s wife that she was going to have to come down the stairs and get the cat so he could continue with his work. Well, the lady told him that the cat wouldn’t hurt a flea and to just go ahead and pick him up and move him.

Dad said, “Well, that’s nice for the flea, but this cat clearly doesn’t want ME coming any closer.” I’m not sure how long that standoff lasted, but the mental image that has always accompanied the story cracks me up.

Always has. Always will.

By the way, the woman eventually did move the cat and the man was transported to the morgue.

As you can imagine, there is a multitude of interesting stories to tell when you’re in the funeral business. My friends from school always thought it was creepy. I never gave it a second thought. It was just part of growing up.

Dad’s been gone for more than eight years now, but I’m sure he’d be happy to know that the stories live on.

I’m sure he was even happier that the cat did not.

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