Pet of the Month – Siamese – The Big Talker

Your only child is dying for a dog. You think it’s a wonderful idea. You begin to romanticize your child’s relationship with a canine friend. It will be like Timmy and Lassie, Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Then reality bites and you picture pooper-scoopers, midnight walks, and infected ears. But your only child won’t give up and, well, he doesn’t have a brother or a sister. Maybe you could manage a small dog in your 900 square foot apartment. Maybe your child would learn to be responsible and help care for the animal. Maybe you should regain your sanity and think about a Siamese cat instead of a dog.

The Siamese is almost as people oriented as dogs and a lot less trouble. A Siamese can give your only child much of the same friendship and entertainment as a dog. No, you can’t take a Siamese to the beach and teach it to catch a frisbee, but Siamese like to fetch and can actually be taught to follow commands. All kittens are cute, but not all kittens grow up to be cats who like to interact with humans. Many cats prefer to lead rather independent lives and seek only minimal human contact. The Siamese, on the other hand, lives to be with people. A Siamese will follow you from room to room, and if, heaven forbid, you want some privacy, will cry like a baby until the door is opened. When you sit down to dinner, chances are that your Siamese will lounge on the chair with you, next to you, or try to pretend that he is a centerpiece for your table. It’s not because he is interested in food (the Siamese is usually too dignified to be a beggar) but because he wants to be part of the action.

Siamese are big talkers with opinions about almost everything. In fact, reprimand a Siamese and he is likely to talk back like a defiant child. He is also quite capable of carrying on extended conversations . If you think dogs are faithful and affectionate, try a Siamese. A Siamese cat will sit by the door for hours, waiting for you to come home, and after you get inside, he will shower you with affection If the house is quiet and your Siamese doesn’t think anyone is home, he will wail mournfully until you call him and the embarrassed creature realizes his mistake.

Of course, the noble Siamese doesn’t take kindly to losing his dignity.

After all, he was originally the pampered royal cat of Siam, and usually sequestered in the palace of the king in Bangkok. The breed probably began somewhere in Southeast Asia ( Indo-China, Burma, the Malay States, or the Himalayan region), but in 1884 a pair of Siamese cats were imported to Great Britain by Mr. Owen Gould, the British Consul- General in Bangkok. Eventually a few more Siamese were brought into Great Britain and a base breeding group was formed. All modern Siamese cats owe their origin to what cat historians believe were at most, eleven cats.

These “mighty eleven” ultimately began the breed as we know it today. The more accepted modern breed types of Siamese are the Seal Point, Chocolate Point, Blue Point, Lilac Point, and Color Point. While still a kitten the Siamese’s markings are rather faint, but as the cat matures the distinguishing points of color become more defined on the face, ears, lower legs and tail. The eyes are blue and the hair short. Although many Siamese have delicate bone structure, they don’t have a delicate constitution. Cared for properly, Siamese cats have been known to live for as long as twenty years. So don’t let the beautiful Siamese fool you, this is a gloriously sturdy animal whose combination of elegance, intelligence and strength makes it particularly endearing. There is even a Siamese Cat Club website on the Internet that proclaims its “dedication to Siamese world domination.”

While we don’t know if the Siamese cat will manage to dominate the world in twenty years, we do know that he will dominate your only child’s heart with his comic antics and playful disposition. One word of warning. Because the Siamese needs so much human contact, if you are gone most of the day, it’s a good idea to get two Siamese so that they can clown around with one another. There is nothing louder or more mournful than the guttural cries of a lonely Siamese, so to keep you and your neighbors happy, two cats may even be better than one.