Update on Operation Papertrail

R and I are at a hotel in Denver. Let me tell you, Denver is not a place I plan to visit again. It is easy to get around as the streets are in a grid but it is all brown and pretty ugly. I wouldn’t want to live here.

Tonight, we closed down my dad’s apartment. R and I (especially R) cleaned out and got rid of a lot of the junk in there. We sold a few items (like his TV) to neighbors and gave quite a bit of stuff away, especially his stack after stack of soda and cat supplies.

The mystery of my dad’s missing cat has been solved as well. Dad originally (a year or so ago) had a grey tabby that had run off when he stopped by the side of a middle of nowhere road in Wyoming. He couldn’t find it again and he was pretty upset about it. To replace it, he got a new cat. He’d just had it fixed and it generally traveled with him. I was told by the admitting nurse that he had the cat when he was in the hospital in Casper, Wyoming a week before he died. (He’d been traveling slowly and a state trooper thought he seemed a bit loopy and forced my dad to either let them do blood tests and admit him or have him committed. It turned out that he had a near lethal lack of sodium at the time so it was a good thing.) When Lou was found dead, the cat was not with him. Family kept asking me this week if I’d found the cat. While receiving a phone call from the hospital when they were looking to settle the bill, the lady on the other end said she’d check the two places in Casper for me as a favor. I’d mentioned it to her as a puzzle since I thought that she might be able to ask the nurse. It turns out that the nurse took his cat to the local animal shelter for him (temporarily) but when he’d gotten out, he had insisted that the cat they brought to him was not his cat and that his cat was a grey tabby… It turns out that his new cat was a Siamese and it matched what I knew about his pet. I think he was not thinking straight and was looking for his old cat. I spoke to the shelter today and to the woman that had been on the receiving end of his verbal expression of unhappiness. She’s going to see that the cat is adopted out and she doesn’t think it will be a problem as he’s young, in good health, and sweet. One mystery solved.

I still have not found any of my dad’s deeds or titles except for the car that he bought while living in Denver. His Denver safe deposit box is completely empty. It turns out that he has one in the town with the storefront that he owns but he hasn’t been in it in months. He should have brought some papers back from Thanksgiving in Seattle but I can’t figure out where they are. Upton, where the storefront is located, is about 50 miles from Gillette, Wyoming. It turns out that you can fly from Seattle to Denver and then to Gillette. It looks like I’ll have to go to that place in person and give it a search along with visiting the bank there.

The other town where he owned two two bedroom houses and one one bedroom house is 400 miles away from there. Apparently, he visited both places after Thanksgiving, but the houses are rented out so the only place anything could be there would be one of the banks. He just moved a renter in over the phone a couple of days before he died but no papers nor money had been exchanged yet. One of the other houses has a renter planning on bolting for another state, according to my grandpa. I’ve been in contact with a realty agency in town there that has managed properties for my grandfather and they are willing to manage the places for 15% of the rent. Total rent is probably about $1,100 a month so I can deal with that. My grandfather would like to buy the properties but he has to work it out with my step-grandmother. Another fellow, whom my dad knew and my grandfather knows, wants to buy the storefront and he offered my dad his asking price before. My dad then jacked it up $5,000 and the guy backed out. If he’s still interested, I’ll be selling it but I have to reconnoiter the place in person first.

My dad was one of these paranoid types who liked to hide things in various places so I’ll have to check all of the banks in the areas of both towns and Gillette for accounts opened by him. Apparently his mother was the same way (which leave me little hope). It would have been nice if he’d left me a pirate map. There is some thought that there might be a bit of money squirreled away somewhere but it might just be a story too.

I met with my lawyer in Denver today and signed papers so I should have all of the legal matters taken care of in the next couple of weeks. R and I will be back in Seattle mid-Saturday.