The first inductee into the Hero Category is Desiree, a flame
point Himalayan cat, belonging to Richard Smith of Burlington.
She was nominated for induction into the Vermont Animal Hall of
Fame by VVMA member veterinarian Dr. Linda Moore.
Desiree performed an act of heroism beyond the imagined ability of most cats. Richard is 85 years old, severely afflicted by osteoarthritis and lives with Desiree in a handicapped accessible apartment. Usually Desiree is a very meek, mild and loving companion to Richard. But when it comes to protecting her owner, Desiree has the power and bravery of a lion!
On February 18, 2004, Richard was awaiting the arrival of his caregiver, Thomas, when he decided to retire to his bed for a short nap. Knowing that Thomas would arrive any minute, Richard left the door unlocked. Soon, Richard was awakened by two male voices just outside his window. Although he could hear them speaking he could not determine what they wanted. Five minutes later, the apartment door opened and a deep bass voice said, “I guess nobody’s home. Let’s go inside and see what they have.”
Desiree, startled from her own nap by the unfamiliar voice, bolted upright and charged the intruders! Richard heard growls, hissing and screams coming from the living room. Then a man’s voice yelling, “Get the heck out of here, fast!” Actually, heck was not the word he used, but that’s what we are using today at this Ceremony!
Richard struggled out of bed and proceeded to the living room. He was shaking and terribly upset. There he found Desiree, guarding the open door, still growling ferociously. It took over one-half hour but finally Desiree decided the danger had passed and settled down on the couch with Richard.
Desiree may seem petite and gentle, but on that one unforgettable night, she saved Richard from becoming a victim of crime.
The VVMA is proud to induct Desiree, one tiger of a cat, into the Vermont Animal Hall of Fame in the Hero category.