(Scrapbook layout credits can be found here.)
Dragonheart's mom here, borrowing his blog to remember the one who came before him, Whiskers. A year ago today (September 1st), Whiskers went to the Rainbow Bridge. He was 19 years old and died of kidney failure. He would have been 20 in November.
I received Whiskers as a birthday gift for my 15th birthday. He was the best birthday present ever. When we went to the breeder to pick him up, I had the choice between him and his brother. I chose Whiskers because he was friendly and curious - he came right out to me and sniffed my hand, and let me pet him. He then started purring.
Whiskers acquired his rather uncreative name due to the fact that he was missing the whiskers on one side of his face when we picked him up. They had been bitten off while wrestling with his brother. The name Whiskers suited him, and so it stuck, although he was often called "Whiskey." Whiskers was a Seal Point, although his front paw pads were the wrong colour for a Seal Point - they were too pale. But his back paw pads were the dark brown/black of a Seal Point, as was his nose. Whiskers had the most amazing, gorgeous blue eyes. The photos don't do them justice. They were a deep, intense blue, and just amazing.
When we brought Whiskers home there was another cat living with us, my sister's cat, Princess. We had had her for about 8 months. Whiskers and Princess became friends, and it was very clear that Whiskers was my cat and Princess was hers.
Whiskers was a wonderful, friendly guy. He loved people and delighted in being the centre of attention. He loved cuddling up on a lap (especially mine), and being pet. He had a wonderful, loud, rumbling purr, as well as the "typical" loud Siamese voice. He slept with me at night. When he was a kitten, he liked sleeping on my pillow, curled up on my shoulder-length hair. In the winter, he loved curling up under the covers, at my chest or behind the crook of my knees.
When he was a few years old, we almost lost Whiskers. He swallowed a needle. Fortunately, it lodged sideways in his throat, and I easily felt a weird lump there. The vet was able to remove it surgically, and Whiskers had no more health problems (other than the plaque build-up on his teeth that is common in Siamese) until he was in his late teens and developed kidney disease.
Whiskers was a wonderful companion. When I fractured the L2 vertebra in my back (I fell off a horse while jumping) and was confined to bed rest for a couple of months, he was my constant companion, keeping me company through the long days, and entertaining me with his antics. He loved playing with drinking straws, especially the bendy kind. When I recovered from my back injury, I switched universities, and ended up moving away from home. Sadly, I couldn't bring Whiskers with me to the University Residence, so he stayed at home with my parents, my sister, and Princess, my sister's cat.
Every time I came home from university, he was there. Ready to purr for me, sleep with me, and play. When I graduated from university, and moved into a place of my own, we decided that at that point, since Whiskers and Princess were starting to get old, and had spent almost their entire lives together, it would be cruel to separate them, so they stayed with my sister and brother-in-law. Fortunately, they lived in the same city, and so I was still able to see Whiskers frequently.
Last summer, my husband and I moved to Germany. As most of you know, Dragonheart's "dad" - my husband - is an officer in the Canadian Forces, and we were posted to Munich for three years. I knew Whiskers probably wouldn't still be alive when we moved back to Canada in three years time. He was 19 years old, he had kidney disease, and he missed Princess, who had gone to the Rainbow Bridge about 6 months earlier. So I sad my goodbyes to him before we left, spending a lot of time petting him, hearing his wonderful purr with him curled up in my lap.
A year ago today, I received the phone call that I knew would come some day. Whiskers had gone to the Rainbow Bridge.
As a tribute to Whiskers, I commissioned a painting of him by my very talented friend, Michelle Wiebe. You can see the painting here, and read more about Whiskers here or here.
I still miss my darling Whiskers, some days more than others. Sometimes when I visit Latte's blog, I get a little misty, because there are certain photos or poses that Latte strikes that remind me a lot of Whiskers. Fortunately, the immediate pain and sorrow of his loss has passed, and I remember all the wonderful times we had together. I also have Dragonheart, who is even more friendly and cuddly than Whiskers was (which is amazing!) and we we hopefully have a little brother or sister for Dragonheart by Christmas (I'm waiting for news from Dragonheart's breeder on her next litter of kittens.)
Whiskers was a very special cat, and he will never be forgotten. I miss him and I still love him. He will always have a very special place in my heart.