|Sketches by Rob Davies circa 1992|
I find myself,
I stop on August 1
Herman Davies Day.
The Herm came to my house on an autumn day in the late 1980s, and the world changed.
People began knocking on my door, all of them asking if Hermie could come out to play with their children, with their puppies, and with their kittens.
Soon he was the talk of the town, then of the province of British Columbia and, within months, of the entire country of Canada. He was the best entertainment people could give their 6-month-old offspring. He would lie on the floor and let babies crawl all over him, pull his black tail, his one black ear, and his white ear with a circle of black below it. He let kittens do the same, even though they had sharp little teeth with which they chewed his ears.
Childless couples found he would wrestle with their puppies and wash their kittens and entertain visiting dignitaries as well. It was his unassuming aplomb with foreign diplomats that gave rise to the international celebration.
For Herman's second birthday, my sister gave him a tiny little white kitten. Hermie was so sweet, generous, and polite, that he always let the kitten eat first. This led to him keeping his boyish figure and to the kitten becoming a large, fat, selfish creature who clawed the ankles off teenage boys when they passed by.
When the late great Herm was twelve years old, he was stricken by an inoperable brain tumor. Despite valiant efforts by his veterinary team, and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who escorted a sample of his spinal fluid on its way to the lab in a last-ditch attempt to save the heroic cat, he died. Hermie was buried with full honors next to his favorite dog, Niña Davies, aka The Dreaded Ninja Puppy, in a field overlooking one of British Columbia's majestic rivers.
Wherever I am on International Herman Davies Day, I find a river and hire a lone piper to play Scots Wha Hae Wi Wallace Bled (or Bruce's Address to His Troops at Bannockburn) (same song, different title). Crowds gather, many of the people carrying infants, young children, kittens or puppies, so that all may remember the white-with-black wonder who was The Herm.
Posted for Out of Standard at the
Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
in response to the prompt from that ever-imaginative poet Isadora Gruye asking us to write about a holiday of our own devising.