by Brandi S
(Baton Rouge, LA)
I have an amazingly sweet almost 16 year old named Shadow and I am so excited to see and hear about his twins across the US and UK. While he is obviously not a "Tiffany" as I got him from a pet shop, he is the splitting image of Arthur and several other cats pictured.
I've payed close attention to black cats but none looked close to Shadow until today. They weren't as fluffy, had the right sized ears, same large golden eyes, body size, or head and body shape.
15 years ago, when the time came to replace my previously passed cat, my mom and I were looking for a short haired female 8 week old. I wasn't allowed to have a long haired cat due to allergies or males because of spraying fears.
However it was a little too early for kittens so after visiting a shelter, we started looking in pet stores. In this pet store on the opposite side of town in a high cage was this beautiful but scraggly dandruff ridden cat. Since I was under 18 and therefore couldn't hold him, my mom asked to see the cat. Shadow, as he was already named, jumped into her arms and held on for dear life wrapping his paws around her shoulders. That was it! Nevermind that he was long haired, male and 6 months old.
My Shadow is named perfectly and his personality sounds a lot like everyone else's. He used to play fetch like a dog when he was younger, comes when called and even listens to commands like down, come inside, and bedtime. While he likes his independence and will let you know when he wants space (or attention!) with a quick strong swat, he literally follows me around under foot and trips me regularly.
Sometimes I wonder if there is an invisible 3 foot leash attached between us 🙂 But when it is time for him to cuddle he will lay where ever he thinks is most inconvenient to me. I am lucky enough that he allows me to hold him like a baby and give kisses when I've had a rough day.
And I've "trained" him since he was little, by holding him until he did so, that no matter his mood when I pick him up he will purr! He is a big talker and loves having conversations, especially about food and going outside. He is curious with other people and very friendly with other pets. At night when he hears my noise machine come on before I get ready for bed, he comes running to "his" pillow on my bed.
This past Thanksgiving he was diagnosed with lymphoma and I thought I was going to lose my best friend before the New Year. But he is strong willed like me and has been in remission since the beginning of March and even gained almost all of his weight back. Only 3/4 of a pound more to go until he's back to his 11 pounds! If anyone is ever in a similar situation I encourage you to do your research and look beyond your fears. Cancer treatment for animals is handled much more humanely than with people.
While I initially was very fearful for his quality of life, it was worth every penny and I do not doubt my decision for a second. His only side effects was a little fur shedding and one rough day of diarrhea. As soon as the first dose starting working he was back to his happy self. You wouldn't know he was sick other than the shave marks and missing fur spots where he scratched that have since grown back in full. As I write this he is happily napping right next to me and the laptop.
This is a bit of a ramble on my part, so sorry about that! It's great to finally know that when the time comes for us to part, even though I can never replace my long time best friend, I know where to find another beautiful friend that Shadow would be accepting of!