I was planning a completely different blog post for today. This is actually a blog post I never really thought I would have to write. Then last night life got stupid and expat living got scratchy.
If you've been around here for a while you'll know about Dylan. Even if you haven't if you read my "the dubious haushold" you'll find him mentioned under fuzzy dubiousness. Our big ginger wookie/cat/lummox howled and cuddled his way into our lives in January 2010. We had gone to the shelter looking for a cat I had seen feature in the local paper. She had found her forever home before I got there. I was so pleased but sad at the same time. We looked at the various cats waiting for homes. One cat hissed at me, another had this crazed look in his eye and there was a pair that had to come as a pair because they had never been apart. Then there was Dylan. Or as he was known at the time "Diago" He was so not a Diago. John asked if we could give him a cuddle. He flew into John's arms. Cuddled right up and chattered endlessly. We put him back in his cage and looked at one more cat. The whole time we were looking at another furry friend he howled at us, "hey I'm over here, forget those other cats. I'm picking you!!" He wanted us to know he was still there at all times. John took him out of his cage again and they cuddled some more. He looked at me and said, "We chubby gingers need to stick together." I was so sold. John was sold. Dylan came home with us.
We changed his name immediately. Because well his shelter name just didn't work for him. I mean really, he's not a Diago. He almost ended up either Bassington, Trevor, Basil or Gus. We ended up on Dylan because he had this habit of walking into a room or area of a room, stopping, looking around and acting like he had forgotten what he was doing or like he wasn't ready to be where ever he was. Everything caught him off guard.
We had yet to decide on his name when we were watching this bit by our favourite comedian Dylan Moran.
We looked at each other and said "DYLAN!!!" Although we sometimes wonder if he thought his name was "DAMNIT DYLAN!!" or "SERIOUSLY DYLAN!?!?!" or our favourite "WHAT THE HELL DYLAN?"
Dylan passed away yesterday. Peacefully. In his cat bed. There was no indication he had been feeling poorly. John's parents had just been regaling us with tales of Dylans adventures on Thursday. Telling us he was looking trim and handsome. Lord of the Manor.
Our hearts are broken.
We got Dylan when we needed him most. John was traveling a lot for work and he was really starting to wear on me. The loneliness was rough. Especially at night. So we thought we should get me a companion. We always felt like there was something missing from our lives at that point and everything felt just right when Dylan came home with us from the shelter. He filled that hole and then some.
When the move to Switzerland happened the biggest question was, "What is going to happen to Dylan?" We wanted him to come with us. We wanted him here, with us, his family. The people that understood him and loved him endlessly despite him being the super president of the world in emotional blackmail and an all around jerk sometimes. He was OUR passive aggressive jerk.
We missed the window to have him come along in the cargo hold. We left in the middle of summer. You can't fly pets as cargo during certain times of year. It's actually a very small window when you can do it. Dylan was to big to fit in a carrier that fit under a seat. Shipping him later was tricky because well we didn't have a place to live and we didn't even know if we COULD find a place that allowed pets. So my parents took him for a while. He loved Newfoundland. There was another kitty to play with and lots of sun beams. Unfortunately the other kitty in residence, Punk, and Dylan had issues. Major issues. We tried to get him here unaccompanied with a pet relocation company but after we were quoted 2000 francs from several places we knew the only way he was getting here is if I went and got him or if someone brought him. So Dylan had to pack his bags again and he was shipped back to Manitoba to live on the farm with my in-laws. Yeah he traveled more in his life than most humans.
John and I were a little apprehensive about Dylan going to the farm. First there was Maya the high strung French bulldog in residence and then there was well everything else. Dylan was in essence a big fat wuss. He was afraid of the following things, the hairdryer, people knocking on things (especially doors), pigeons, the roomba, people touching his tail, cats on TV, dogs on TV, animals on TV, the bubbles in fizzy water, my Harry Potter Monster Book of Monsters (we actually had to hide this...it terrified him), being held near a bath tub of water (however, he would often sit on the edge of the bath tub while I would take a bath...weirdo) and I'm fairly sure I'm forgetting things but those were the big ones.
He proved us wrong though. He liked doing that. Like I said, our cat was a jerk. He loved the farm. He had a dog to be passive aggressive to. And occasionally smack around (he apparently did some damage to Maya recently.) Someone who fed him from the table occasionally. Farm cats to lord over. A little girl that visited every so often who loved him ever so much (our niece yelling DYLAN is one our favourite things.) Mice to kill and then throw up on the steps. He was basically getting the best of both worlds. He had found ultimate cat retirement.
When we saw him during our visit in the summer of 2012 everyone warned us he might not remember us. We were prepared for him to ignore us. Instead he fell all over us. We immediately went back to being our weird little team of three. He wedged himself between us at night. He cuddled with wreckless abandon. He danced for treats. Again because of rule that I'm sure are put in place for good reason we couldn't take him with us when we left after our visit. But when we got home I started setting aside cash for when I could fly with him as cargo, plans were in the works for me to come home and get him.
And now he's gone. Our big passive aggressive orange lummox who liked to sit on pizza boxes and would have a kitty freak out if we had ribs from our favourite BBQ place is gone. Our loaf of bread stealing, whispering meow in the middle of the night to see if you're awake, tried to get head scratches once when I was throwing up, chatty cathy is gone. Our Dylan is gone.
And it sucks. Losing a pet sucks. Losing a pet from 7000 kms away sucks even more.