My white and tabby cat Mercury is living a glorious life in retirement, all at the young age of 4. Mercury is a research hero and contributed to the development of lifesaving medicine.
His first year of life was as a research cat helping to develop flea prevention drugs to keep other kitties healthy and enjoying life. He is now one of three former research cats all living the good life in a home where they are loved.
Mercury loves his people too. In fact he likes people so much he will often be the first one to greet someone who comes to the door. Our friends know they need to spend the first few minutes saying hello to Mercury when they come over to our house. Mercury also likes his kitty housemates. On cold days it is not unusual to find them all curled up together in a cat pile.
Mercury got his name because he is very fast. It seems like he can show up under feet instantly. He can be asleep on the far side of the house and if someone gets cheese out of the refrigerator (one of his favorite foods), he will be at their feet before the cheese can be set down on the counter. Another aspect that fits his name is he likes to be in the highest spot in the room where he is allowed. In the bathroom that is at the top of the shower door. He makes a standing vertical jump of 6 feet to get up there.
Mercury helps others live a healthier life.
During his laboratory days, Mercury worked in a project designed to make life better for other animals. Mercury was in efficacy studies for flea prevention. (ALSO READ: My Dog Had a Flea and Tick Infestation. Now He’s Healthy As Ever)
Diseases can transmit through fleas to both cats and people, so Mercury’s help is for the benefit of health for both animals and people.
Researchers treated the cats for fleas and then placed fleas on the cats at specified times to make sure the product was still preventing infestation. Animal care staff took good care of Mercury at the laboratory, and the cat enjoyed his interactions with the personnel he worked with and the other cats that shared his room. This enjoyment of life followed him in his retirement.
After participation in the research, he came home to appreciate the life he worked to give to others.
His birthday is coming up in June, when he’ll be 5. He is a joy to have around. We are blessed to have him in our lives.
Animal research is important for biomedical research advancements, vaccines and treatments. I’m proud my cats contributed to improving health care.
Robert Peterson is a veterinarian at High Quality Research in Colorado. He provided the photos of Mercury and his pet siblings.