Striker was affectionate, playful, and sometimes fun, but his main abilities seemed to center around being annoying. He was constantly in the other cats’ faces, and their invariable reaction—hissing and growling—didn’t seem to phase him at all (he almost seemed encouraged). I don’t think he was trying to play; I think he was trying to irritate them. I’ve lost count of the number of times he would chase one of the others away when it was dinner time. He was the only cat I’ve ever owned who kept the name assigned to him by the animal shelter; it was that apt.
I suppose he would probably have said of me that I was an old stick-in-the-mud and had no idea how to have fun. And he would have been right, but that’s beside the point. And he was definitely the cat who gave the most affection; many’s the time I would collapse on the couch in exhaustion, only to have him commence running his radula over my forearm. This would continue, non-stop, until I finally told him in no uncertain terms to please stop.
The observant reader will not the use of the past tense in these few, inadequate words. Bringing us all into the present, I will note that I am sorry about all the times I yelled at him or otherwise didn’t truly appreciate him. And I hope that wherever he is now, there are lots and lots of snoozing tabbies for him to irk.