Wow, this is harder than I thought.
This post is dedicated to Merlin who passed away February this year at the age of 13.
I "stole" him (we thought we rescued him not knowing the Humane Society would come by the next day to pick up his oh so young Mom and his siblings, but still I think I wouldn't have cared!) from a neighbor of the tall guy's cousin who neglected them (the neighbor, not the cousin, they were the ones that fed them at all). When I saw him sitting on a post - we are talking small village and former farm here - with running nose and half-closed eyes, I knew I had to take him with me. Although he very bravely tried to scare me off by hissing at me, I took him off the post and glued him to my sweater telling the tall guy that he was coming home with us and that his name was Merlin.
Little did I know what he would become to me. Of all the cats we had and have the honor to serve (we do know our status in this house! ;-)) he was mine the most. He slept in my arm at night, he listened to me ranting, laughing and crying and he was the one all the other cats seemed to respect. Not because he was tough, oh no, he was a big couch potato, but around him they all calmed down - after a fight, after a rough game, after the disappointment of another meal not suitable for their gourmet taste.
When he was 8 years old, he got diabetes. We pulled it through together, he just let me do what was necessary and finally he didn't need insulin injections anymore.
Like so many cats he got a kidney problem, though. In February he told me very clearly he needed to go, with a look from his beautiful eyes.
Although he is in my heart of course, I wanted to do something else to remember him by, something special.
Then my way had already led me to SJA and when looking at the pieces of Dawn from California, I suddenly knew what to do.
It took us a while. I say us because I hope Dawn didn't feel neglected during this time, left alone with the task to satisfy a crazy cat woman and a grieving one at that. The way she asked me about Merlin, how he got his name, what his character was like, showed me she didn't just want to copy a photo, she wanted the pendant to show him. As she had other commissions to work on and there were vacation trips in between as well, it took a while until Merlin finally made his way from California to Germany.
I wasn't home the day he arrived and when I came home the next day, I was alone in the house. I opened the parcel and there he was.
Don't the beads compliment the pendant perfectly?
I have been staring at him for over a week now (with small breaks to go to work) and still I am amazed, stunned, speechless. I had expected a lot, but this went beyond my expectations.
There is also a little surprise on the back, but that will stay my secret.
I know I already said it, but I'll say it again. Thank you, Dawn, thank you so much.
And now for something completely different.
That's not true, but as a Monty Python fan I couldn't resist to say that.
Merlin has been drawn years ago when he was still a youngster and his figure a little, ehm, fuller. My friend Denis (from California as well which is pure coincidence because I first met him years ago) who is a talented animator made some sketches of our cats for us when he visited.
This is "his" Merlin.
Ok, now I am sitting here bawling and smiling at the same time. It's time for bed. Thanks for bearing with me through Merlin's and my story.