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 Hera Bryan

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Hera Bryan

  • Birth 1994
  • Death 11 Oct 2004
  • Burial Non-Cemetery Burial, Specifically: Buried on our Property
  • Memorial ID 18556229

Hera, 10, will always be dear to me and my family.

We'd just moved into our Victorian house when a neighbor confided that her husband was too rough with their cat, an adorable black cat about six months old. Fearing the worst, I begged her to give us the cat. The neighbor was reluctant to let her go but finally decided that it was for the best and gave Hera to us.

We loved Hera immediately and gave her lots of attention and a good home, but she never fully recovered from the abuse she'd received from the neighbor's husband and was always a bit eccentric.

She loved us though and was happy in the big, old house. She'd run through the halls and make a sound much that like of a turkey. We called this her "turkey gobble." She liked to sleep in the master bedroom on the mantel, away from the other household cats. At night, she'd always cuddle up beside us in bed.

At five pounds, she was a tiny cat. When I'd pick her up, it seemed like there wasn't much to her. I don't know what breed she was, but suspect she had Bombay in her gene pool. She had huge gold eyes that reminded me of an owl's, so I frequently referred to her as an owl. I also joked that she was a witch who'd accidentally turned herself into a cat.

Though she was happy and in a good home, bad luck continued to follow her. When she was five, she jumped over one of the transoms above the door and missed the landing, breaking her back leg. She had to have extensive surgery, which included a pin.

The doctor was shocked to discover a couple of weeks after the surgery that Hera had somehow pulled the pin out.

The leg healed eventually, but she had a permanent limp and could no longer jump high.

Another strange thing about Hera--though a housecat, every once in a while, she'd somehow get outside and drift until she was completely lost. Once, a couple brought her back--they'd found her in their car. Another time, after we'd moved to a new house, she'd managed to find her way back home after being gone for more than two weeks. We'd been certain that she was dead and were shocked to see her.

A few years later, we moved back into the Victorian, to Hera's delight, and we took in a St. Bernard that we'd rescued. The St. Bernard liked to chase cats, but we didn't think it would hurt cats. We had many cats, and it seemed to get along well enough with them.

But bad luck would find Hera again.

On a cold and rainy day, my husband and I were cleaning the house we were moving out of. Our sons were at the Victorian, along with our many pets. I kept noticing a magnificent, large owl perched on the backyard fence. It was unusual to see an owl in the broad daylight. It constantly looked at the house--as if watching us through the kitchen windows. It remained in that spot for several hours. I pointed it out to my husband. He too thought it was odd. I told him that I thought the owl had a special meaning, that something was wrong and we should go home. He agreed.

On the way out the door, we noticed that the owl had disappeared.

We returned to the Victorian only to find that Hera was missing. We found her dead on the back porch. She'd apparently gotten outside and worked her way around to the back, probably hoping to get inside where it was warm. The St. Bernard had come upon her and killed her--whether intentionally or accidentally, we'll never know. Hera apparently couldn't get away fast enough because of her crippled leg.

My oldest son buried Hera in the front yard, near the tower.

For a long time afterward, we were beside ourselves with grief, feeling that we'd lost a dear friend and family member. We immediately saw her ghost in various places in the house and still do occasionally. Often, I'll open the backdoor to put the dogs in or out and see a black cat running to the door and then suddenly vanish before it reaches it.

Sometimes we feel her hop into the bed with us. We'll feel a cat doing foot pressings at the foot of the bed, look down there, and there's nothing there.

As for the St. Bernard, we placed it in a cat free home. St. Bernard Rescue advised us to have the dog put to sleep, but it's only natural for a dog to want to chase what it perceives as small prey, and we couldn't bring ourselves to put her to sleep due to her natural instincts.

Emily Brown graciously sponsored Hera's listing. I'm grateful to her for her kindness and generosity. Please visit her family's graves.

See more Bryan memorials in:

  • Created by: Bobette
  • Added: 22 Mar 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18556229
  • Emily Brown
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hera Bryan (1994–11 Oct 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18556229, ; Maintained by Bobette (contributor 46842310) Non-Cemetery Burial, who reports a Buried on our Property.