In honor of International Cat Day, August 8, 2019, I would like to take the time to remember Herbie the Cat. Herbie was an adult stray or runaway cat that appeared at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in 1978. The Hoover Library and Museum adopted him four months later and he moved into his custom-built home, which was a replica of Herbert Hoover’s birthplace cottage. Later, a wishing well for a water dish and a gazebo for his food dish were added and in 1992, Herbie’s house was outfitted with central heating in the form of a heating pad. Staff members and friends of the community supplied food and veterinary care.
Herbie conducted guard patrols of his marked territory on the park grounds. He preferred to spend his golden years lounging in the sun and greeting visitors at the front door. On very cold days, Herbie was allowed inside to sun on the chairs in the lobby.
Herbie was featured many times in newspapers and cat magazines. He also had been seen on television stations locally, and as far away as Minneapolis and Washington, DC. He had many local and out-of-town friends who frequently came to visit him. He narrowly escaped one kidnapping attempt.
Herbie died of old age in 1997 and for many years after his death museum visitors would ask about the cat that used to live in front of the museum.