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Again, Farewell

Posted by Dirck on 10 September, 2020

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 7 September
  • 8 September
  • 9 September
  • 10 September
  • Submissions
  • Mild public lamentations (below)
  • Extra work for several editors.
  • Probably not as much as appropriate.

The Long Weekend was indeed very long for us. We got to watch a well-loved family member slowly expire. In the current climate of pandemic, our loss is bearable and small, but we feel it.

Hercule Grey, 2004 – 2020. The late Doctor Awkward Puss.

He was in his seventeenth year, so his passing was not entirely shocking. It was, in a way, a good death, because it was timely. We’ve lost too many to sudden tumors that manifested when they were relatively young. Old Doc just sort of stopped, like a clock that wound down, at an age where such a thing might be expected.

There was a small element of relief in it, too. For the past couple of years, he’d been a scrawny old man– my wife described him as “a furry bag of feathers”, and while he got plenty of rewarding cuddles from the newer members of the flock, he (and we adult humans) were perpetually concerned that the boisterous play of the young ones might do him an injury.

We have some pictures of him taken in what turned out to be the last two weeks of his life, which I will not be sharing. I have never forgiven the tabloid industry as a whole for the cadaverous LAST PICTURES OF DAVID NIVEN! which hung off the ends of grocery story tills, and I’m not going to share similarly gaunt images of one who should be remembered by the world at large in a different light. I will remember him in his appropriately sleek form, before his powers waned.

One of the last good pictures of Hercule, in which he is supported by Bram and Kees. Bram may be even more affected by his death than my wife.

A couple of post-scripts:

  • the name:
    • Hercule not after Poirot, but after Cyrano de Bergerac. As a kitten, he had a rather pronounced beak
    • Grey slightly after the fiendish probe-jabbers from Zeta Reticulum with their similarly-shaped eyes, but more so because my wife found his nature and presentation put her in mind of Joel Grey.
  • I am of course aware that this post (planned for this slot since Sunday) is going up on the same day as the announcement of the death of Diana Rigg. I could wish it were otherwise, but I’m sticking to the plan because I need to release the pressure. I will remember her mainly from her time in The Avengers, not because I insist a woman must be young and beautiful to be worth imagining, but because I watched The Avengers a whole lot during the first decade of my life. Emma Peel, competent and formidable, is firmly encoded in my core recollections.

 

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