This is Stanley!
He is my baby, my buddy, my special little guy.
I adopted him in November 2018 when he was estimated to be about 4 years old, and he immediately began to have expensive health problems! Bladder stones, allergies, tooth resorption, arthritis, nebulous behavioural overgrooming--what doesn't this little guy have. There is one type of cat food in the entire world he can eat without having an allergic reaction or developing bladder crystals, and I live in fear of the manufacturer putting it on backorder. He also has some manner of environmental allergy that not even thousands of dollars in vet bills has managed to solve, and he yanks his hair out when he's stressed on top of that too. He's a strong, unpillable beefcake and sometimes I cry thinking about how if someone else had adopted him instead of me, they might have decided his life wasn't worth all that.
Stanley is also a big personality. I can't afford one of those cat DNA tests, but I've always assumed he's got some Bengal in him--partially because he has the ticked belly and extra-long tail, but primarily becasue he's got the wretched Bengal voice and he loves to use it. You know how most cats only use a small amount of their vocal range to communicate with humans? Big Stan uses the whole range every day, and even after four years he's coming out with new noises I had not known a cat would produce. There are sounds most cats only make when they're in acute distress, and he makes them to say "hello" or "please spoon me." In my house we call him a little opera man; he is always singing. I would die for him.
As a kid I had a couple of other cats, so when I adopted him, I was fully prepared for it to take days before he came out from under my bed. But instead, within half an hour of getting him home, he was fast asleep curled up against my leg. For a cat who came to the shelter as a stray, he has shockingly little fear of humans! As far as Stanley's concerned, every new person he meets is a new bestie who is there to pet him and cuddle with him. (He has never been proven wrong yet.)