Geep and I often talk about our Paris days, especially in comparison to our current existence. Dealing with global pandemics, wars, shortages, and hearing the word unprecedented way too many times, has added an extra glow to our time in France. Of course, it was not all glamour and baguettes, but it was good. Special. We keep it like a snow globe in our minds to shake and look at when we need a pick me up. Inside that rounded glass lives several little memories involving the cats. Our furry unsuspecting travelers, who never fathomed being shoved into a plane, were important puzzle pieces in the entire experience.
Aurora, who we sadly lost in 2019, discovered the wonderfulness of shelves located over radiators in the winter . She also enjoyed listening to her own shockingly loud meow resonating down the concrete-walled hall and running down it so quickly that the rugs would bunch at the end near the door.
Vorenus, who is still with us despite his bad Persian cat genes, met his scary crow handler that spoke to him daily through the open windows and scared us when we threw open the metal shutters, squawking at us madly. He also was pleased at what he considered offerings to his majesty: flowers, a 1 foot tall Christmas tree, any plant in general that came home with us. Peonies were a favorite and something he only experienced in Paris, as they don’t grow in Texas.
They were both boisterous, confident, troublemakers who took to Paris life with the same obnoxiousness they had at home, but enjoyed the novelties presented.
Fezzik was different. Fezzik was always different.
Fezzik was the largest thing in the house, even with a later addition of a dog, but acted like a mouse. Out of all of them, we were most concerned with him on the flight over. His gentle nature made us worry the stress would be too much for him, but he surprised us. A cat that would hide for days on end, stuff himself into cabinets and only appear for food, walked out of the carrier and stretched. He turned his softball sized head from side to side and decided to settle on the couch like nothing happened. We soon purchased a small cat tree that had ‘Tiger’s Place’ embroidered on it for them to look out the window and he quickly claimed the ground floor cubbyhole as home base. Our gentle giant, often overshadowed by the other two cats, happily spent his days lounging in the sun, merping at French pigeons…and not hiding. His solitary personality lead to him being more in the background of our day to day, but he still enjoyed his snuggles and pets when we settled on the couch in the evenings. Fezzik was happiest, his best self, in Paris. Just like us.
As Geep noted in the About page, Fezz had started to be braver in the months leading up to his passing. Standing up to the tiny tyrant dog, standing his ground when our newest cat addition, Bugs, annoyed him, and demanding attention from us on a regular basis. We commented on several occasions how he was always so slow to adapt and change, but it was finally happening and he was starting to thrive late in life. He was struggling with a new diabetes diagnosis, but was handling it well and would even get up on the couch for his insulin shots. He figured out that shots = pets and that was a fair trade off. He was our huge, chubby, a tiny bit arthritic but otherwise healthy Moose. So when I noticed something was wrong, we never expected it to end the way it did. So suddenly.
Geep mentioned that when Aurora passed, we had life events to distract us from the loss due to moving houses. Fezzik’s passing fell in the middle of a mundane week, with no distractions to pull our attention away for a while. We are stuck sitting here in silence with our sorrow. I’m grateful he didn’t suffer, that it ended quick, and that we were there for those final moments to cradle his giant head and kiss his ears. Tell him he was the BEST boy, after all.
As our little French crew of three dwindles down to one, the losses get harder. We get farther away from Paris. We get farther away from our little companions.
Thank you Fezzik for all the terrible pet names you let us call you: Big Moose, Mooski Mooski, Fromage des Fesses, Camembert, Mooseharaja.
Thank you for memory of the the French girl’s mother I tutored seeing a picture of you and asking “Why so big?”
Thank you for being the reason the Italian vet just about fell over when she met you and told us that Fezziks were a THING, letting us imagine small packs of giant European shorthairs running through a forest somewhere.
Thank you for trying to always sell us cars with your paws crossed and that silly shifty look., I’m sorry we never bought one.
Thank you for sharing your incredible deadweighting skills.
I hope you heard me when I told you you get to go back to Paris again, talk to the pigeons, and sleep in Tiger’s Place forever.
I hope you and Aurora are happy and know we loved you. She will be happy to have you there to steal your warmth once again.