Herman ran off to the Rainbow Bridge early this morning. I don't think he suffered at all. Yesterday at breakfast he was his normal self and later that morning he was up on his platform, enjoying a nice sun puddle when I gave him his Interferon and his treat. When he didn't come into the kitchen for lunch at 1:00, I went looking for him and found him in Oja's room, in Emma's hideyhole. I put his lunch down in the usual spot and told him that if he didn't come out and eat it soon, Spyro would get it. He didn't seem interested, so I sat down and petted his head the way he liked for a little bit. I told myself that I needed to get him to the vet as soon as I could. Unfortunately, the vet closes at noon on Saturdays. It was the same at suppertime. I petted him some more and then went to bed because I was very tired. I called out, "Herman, bedtime!" like I always do, but he didn't come. In fact, no kitties came to bed with me last night. I spent a restless night, but there was nothing I could do. Spyro and Oja showed up together to get into bed with me about dawn, which is about when I suspect Herman ran off to the Bridge. Were they staying with him to comfort him? I like to think so. When it was light enough for me to see, I got up to get the kitties breakfast. Spyro and Oja ran in and started eating, but no Herman. Herman never misses breakfast. I went to where I had seen him last and he was lying on his side, his favorite sleeping position. It wasn't until I touched him that I realized that he had already left.
Was there anything I could have done? I don't think so. When Herman stated growling at Spyro when Spyro wanted to play, the first thing that crossed my mind was that maybe Herman wasn't feeling so good, so I started keeping a close eye on him. When Herman got sick two years ago the first symptom was diarrhea. Herman didn't have diarrhea. I cleaned normal poop our of his litter box yesterday. After I buried him in the garden, I checked where he had been lying to see if there was any mess I needed to clean up. All I found was one perfectly formed little ball of poop. When Herman wasn't feeling good, the first sign was that he started letting his tail droop. He was holding his tail high yesterday morning. Before when he was sick, he stayed on the floor and wouldn't jump up on anything. and stopped coming to bed for his cuddles. He was up on his platform yesterday morning and cuddled with me Friday night. The last time, he went off his food and lost weight at an alarming rate. He needed more metronidazole Tuesday and I took him with me to weigh him and he had actually gained two tenths of a pound. As I posted when Herman first got grumpy with Spyro, I thought Spyro had hurt him a little rasslin'. I did find what felt like two tiny scabs on the back of Herman's neck. I made sure I felt his neck every day for signs of soreness or swelling until the scabs disappeared, so Herman didn't have an abscess or any type of infection.
I was so happy when Herman reached his fifth birthday, thinking he was out of the danger zone. If he had only had feline leukemia, he might well have been, but he had FIV, too, so maybe they both ganged up on him at once and carried him off. I don't know. I'm just glad he didn't suffer. It looked like he just went to sleep and woke up at the Rainbow Bridge. It is just five days until his third Gotcha Day. Maybe Emma was there at the Bridge to greet him and maybe not. They never did really like each other. He has plenty of other friends there to greet him. I am going to miss him terribly. I think what I will miss most is calling out, "Herman, bedtime!" every night and having him join me for a long petting session and cuddle. Oja is more that willing to take over that duty. Sometimes she would beat Herman there and the both of them would cuddle up with me and each other. I had one hand to pet each. Spyro and Herman made up recently. I saw them nose kissing only a few days ago. Spyro just stopped trying to get Herman to play and all was well. They would eat out of the same dish together.
I will leave the present blog header up through Herman's Gotcha Day, then I will change the title to something else. I am thinking of using Spyro's name and something alliterative, but nothing good is coming to mind, but my mind isn't exactly clear right now. The tears haven't started yet, but I think I am still in shock. I will write Herman a farewell limerick, when one comes to me. See you at the Rainbow Bridge, Herman, my handsome boy.