Stanley, whom I liked to call Stanley Bo Banley, passed away a few months ago after a (thankfully) brief battle with liver cancer. He was the 2nd cat I ever owned, and the first siamese. Losing him was like losing a child. We had just moved from NH to Florida, so his last few months were spent in great tranquility laying in the florida sun.
However, his favorite place to be was as pictured, either on my desk with his head on my hand, or on one of my shoulders. I waited so long for this memorial because I just don't think I would have been capable of typing it until recently. Losing Stanley has left a hole in my heart that I never thought possible. Just as he was nearing his passing, my other kitty, Molly (seperate memorial pending) was diagnosed with Oral cancer, and she died soon after as well.
I am happy to say that I discovered something which made his last few months bearable. At one point I was having to hand feed him with a syringe and he had lost more than half of his weight, and I was preparing to take him to be euthanized. He hadn't meowed in three weeks and was down to around 4 pounds (from 12). I happened to be making chicken for dinner, and was cutting it raw, when I suddenly heard a croaking noise at my feet. It was him...he smelled the raw chicken..so I gave him a tiny piece..he ate it..I gave him another, he ate it, and was now croaking/meowing loudly. I quickly googled raw chicken for cats, and saw that it was safe, so I cut up half a breast and he ate the whole thing! he ate more a few hours later. By the next morning he was meowing, energetic, and not vomiting anymore. I ordered a raw supplement, and over the next three months he gained weight back, started playing again, and was eating on his own. I also switchd to a gluten-free, high protein dry food, and he ate this in addition to the chicken. In all he lived a very happy, comfortable 4 months after his first bite of the chicken.
The vet was surprised, and of course tried to steer me away from raw chicken, but I had found real studies and loads of information to support it. However, I could not hold off the inevitable. In one short weekend, it was clear his liver was finally failing, and I took him to the vet where he was put to sleep. I can say happily that, because of his diet change, he thoroughly enjoyed a few more months of life than he would have, and his passing was very quick at the end.
One other blessing I had was that I had thought of perhaps getting another siamese of course, so made some inquiries. Stanlyy was purchased from a breeder in NH. By an act of God, the very same breeder I got Stanley from had retired to Florida, an hour from where I lived, and she had one, just one male siamese kitten from his same bloodline, the last of that bloodline in fact. I went and got him, and he (Francis) and Stanley became best buddies. He snuggled with Stanley and kept him warm, and they were very gentle with each other. In the few short months they had together, Stanley taught his new charge how to be a Siamese, especially how to be noisy and to enjoy laying in the sun.
While Stanley will never be replaced, I cannot help but feel that the bond between Stanley and Francis has kept Stanley's spirit in my home, and I am happy that Francis got to spend time with such a good teacher. Now, having since lost my molly, and then my neighbor-cat, Juniper, I have adopted three cats from shelters, and Francis, now the "cat-in-charge" has assumed the role of caretaker of the other kitties as he grooms them, follows them around and watches over them. I am sure Stanley is very proud of him. Francis still plays with Stanley's favorite catnip pillow.
As long as I live I will always have a siamese cat, or rather one will always have me.
Some may wonder why I adopted the other cats; the main reason is that moving to Florida meant I was able to rent a large house vs. an apartment, so I have tons of space and tile floors. I always wanted to have four cats. I adopted Taylor the tabby first, from a local no-kill shelter, to be a playmate for Francis after Molly passed away. They were very hyper, so I went to the same shelter for a female cat to straighten them out, and the snowshoe siamese was there..when she moved in the guys calmed down, and she keeps them in their place. I ot Juniper, because, if you check the Juniper memorial I put up, I had a sad expereince with a little black cat and wanted to adopt one as a result.
Having the other cats has not in any way lessened my grief over Stanley. But, what I have learned is that there are many, many cats in shelters who need people to care about them. We can never replace our unique friends, but we can find joy again by sharing our love with needy animals.