John Van Lierop and his cat Morris who even at the age of 20, loves music and has become known to dozens of Van Lierop's piano students.
Pet of the Week: Morris is a music lover
John Van Lierop, Jr, who runs a piano studio on Gatewood Hill off Morgan Street has had his cat Morris for 20 years. Morris was purchased from a now closed pet store in the Alaska Junction when he was only a couple of weeks old. When they first saw Morris, Van Lierop said, "We could tell he wanted a home and when we took him out of the cage he just clung to my father."
Over the years the cat has heard countless piano students play on John’s grand piano in his upstairs living room. Now, when they come to play they want him in the room with some feeling they play better with him there.
Morris generally rests on the couch as the students perform their pieces. But if the music gets too loud he immediately leaves the room. Morris,"Likes Chopin and softer more tuneful music," said Van Lierop, who indicated that Beethoven is not on Morris's playlist.
Morris has a feisty nature, which his veterinarian feels has contributed to his longevity.
Students have learned to only pet him on the head or else expect a bite from his sharp teeth.
At night Morris looks after and sleeps with John’s father, who has dementia. That has really given the cat a purpose these last couple of years.
Morris gets a mixture of food because he won't eat regular food. He eats Crave or Temptations dry food said Van Lierop, "He has good taste, he's not one for Friskies."
Many cats enjoy attention but Morris is very focused on it...that is when he's not sleeping. He sleeps 20 hours a day Van Lierop estimates.
"I think the cat is very smart and I think he knows something is wrong with my father and my dad will ask at night "Where's the cat?" if Morris is not there.
When he goes to his box, he wails about it no matter what time of the day or night it is. It must be cleaned after every use.
When they first saw Morris Van Lierop said, "We could tell he wanted a home and when we took him out of the cage he just clung to my father."
He's an indoor cat...and has been all his life..
he's heard several hundred students who always ask about him. I know he likes Chopin...something not too loud or too fast.