Then there was Gabriel, the white cat with one blue eye and one brown eye. Barbara called him retarded. I'm afraid her derogation gave him a complex which he spent his short life trying to conquer. Cats are great entertainers, and those who harbor a prejudice against the feline species never seem to appreciate this.
At the dinner table one night, the family was debating whether or not Gabriel was deaf or just strange. Philip thought he would resolve the question by getting up from the table, going over to the sleeping cat and clapping his hands near his ear. However we were experiencing a violent storm at the same time. Now I am certain that God has a sense of humor (perhaps that is why He invented the house cat). So providence determined that at the exact moment that Philip clapped his hands, an enormous flash of lightning and an immediate crash of thunder (indicating the nearness of the electrical event) occurred and the lights in the house went out. We never witnessed the conclusion of his experiment.
Once when we were returning to the house--a five level split--we saw Gabriel walking around on the roof of our home. No cat had ever been there before, and we still do not know for sure just how Gabriel got there.
In Wilmington, Delaware, there were a plethora of squirrels in the neighborhood. They knew the landscape even better than Gabriel which became evident when Gabe decided to chase one up a neighbor's tree. The squirrel would ascend to a branch and watch as Gabe climbed up the tree behind it. Then it would scamper up a couple more branches and watch. Gabe was still hot on the trail. The squirrel climbed out on the end of the branch. Again Gabriel was right behind, still coming strong. Then the athletic squirrel leaped from the branch to the next tree and away. Gabriel, however, was left clinging to the narrow branch just vacated by the squirrel. The squirrel's weight, which had helped bend the branch downward, now left the equation and the tree branch sprang back to it's higher position with Gabe hanging on for dear life. The cat's weight caused the branch to bounce several times before coming to rest, all this time with a frustrated white leopard clinging to it. Our neighbor, who understood the humor of cats, was witness to the whole event and relayed to us this story, punctuated with partially controlled laughter.