Hermes: The Cat with the Expressive Voice and the Marvelous Tail (2006-2009)


He wasn't yet 3 years old.

One of our guest kitties had to be euthanized today after being diagnosed, a couple of weeks ago, with FIP (feline infectious peritonitis). He had been thin but now he was clearly failing. One eye had filled with blood and the other was starting to. He ate a little and slept a lot.

So today it was time.

Hermes was one of my older daughter's 4 cats who are currently living here with our 3 cats. He had adopted my wife and was her constant companion.

Hermes had the most remarkable voice and the largest vocabulary of any cat I've ever met. "Hello" could go on for 30 seconds as he modulated up and down the scale, adding little flourishes here and there for good measure.

When he came into my room, Hermes always avoided the floor. Jumping onto a floor-model radio, he would stroll across an encyclopedia case, walk along a bookshelf, and leap onto the computer desk.

All that is done. He could still walk a little, but slowly, and his weight was less than 5 pounds.

So today we gave Hermes the only thing we could give him, a "good death"; he went quietly, with his people around him, shortly before 7:45 this evening, peacefully and without pain. We shed tears, but we will remember the little kitty with the marvelous voice and the extarordinarily long tail.

The other cats will probably all test positive for the coronavirus that causes FIP. Fortunately, the incubation period is long, so we're hoping that the rest of the herd will live out their normal lives.

Give your kitten, puppy, cat, or dog a little extra scratch on the head tonight for Hermes.

10 August 2009