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Missing cat returns three months after High Street fire

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Stripey’s alive.

And the 11-year-old cat that went missing after a High Street fire on May 15 is back with her owner.

“She’s kind of skinny, but she’s OK,” said Emma E. Parody, 79, who got the cat after unidentified neighbors saw it in their yard, recognized it and then brought it back to itsowner Wednesday night.

After demolition crews tore down the apartment building Aug. 7, the fate of Stripey looked bleak and almost no one thought she would be found. But Mrs. Parody knew they would be reunited.

“I feel very happy because I got her,” she said, adding that the cat immediately recognized her. “She’s been cuddling right up to me. She won’t leave me alone. She’s been eating good.”

Mrs. Parody is convinced the cat remained in the burned-out apartment building at 239 High St. from the early morning of the blaze up until it was demolished. From the markings on the cat that was brought to her, Mrs. Parody said, she knows it is Stripey.

Her friend Linda A. Holder had insisted she saw the cat several times in Mrs. Parody’s old kitchen window in the building.

“See, I told you I saw her in the building,” she said.

On the day of the demolition, construction crews looked for the cat inside to no avail. On Thursday, Mrs. Parody had one explanation for how Stripey lived through the ordeal:

“She survived the fire, and she survived the building being torn down,” Mrs. Parody said. “But she was a fighter when she was born.”

The building was condemned after its owner, Ricky Frazier, failed to tell the city what he planned to do about it.

Mrs. Parody’s daughter, Sophia M. Fuhrman, had turned to city officials, the Fire Department, the building’s owner and others to get the cat out, but they failed to help, Ms. Fuhrman had said.

Ms. Fuhrman, who lived in the High Street building with her son, Kean, 19, felt so strongly about finding the cat that a week after the fire, she broke a window at the house to look for it and subsequently was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief.

Two days later, Joshua D. Metzler, 25, of 717 State St., was charged with second-degree arson after allegedly confessing to police that he torched the eight-apartment building, sending several tenants fleeing early that morning.

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