Today Neil and I said goodbye to our favourite, furry family member. Tilly’s health has been declining for a couple of months now, but he had crashed very rapidly this week. It was a difficult decision to let him go.
Tilly, or Tilly Dylan Tyers-McGwyre, Cat of Brunswick (his full name, as depicted on his PBS radio membership) has been a fixture in our lives for the past 9 years, when I adopted him from a shelter in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. He was estimated to be about 7 years old when he came to live with me. I chose to adopt a “senior” cat because I wasn’t sure how long I could dedicate to looking after a cat, given that I was pretty young and stupid. Senior cats don’t get adopted as readily as younger cats, so I felt like we were helping each other. Neil gave him his name — the shelter told us he was a girl, his actual gender was uncovered about a year later when he fell ill. I’ll never forget the look on the vet’s face when he told me that. We let Tilly keep his name, it’s not like he knew it was a “girls” name or anything.
Tilly was a chatty and personable cat, who was able to adapt to just about any situation, provided you let him sit on you and you would talk to him. He was not aloof or nervous when it came to new things. When it came time to decide whether to move to New York or not, we knew that so long as he was fit to fly, he was fit to settle into a new life. His vet and his travel agency gave him the a-ok and so we arranged for him to join us. He flourished in NYC — a thyroid condition we had struggled to keep a lid on became much more manageable with different medication not available in Australia.
Who knew a cat that’s apparently from Mornington, Australia, who might have been 16 or 19 years old, and who wore a Peter Alexander rhinestone bow-tie would make it this far? I’m going to miss him a lot, and I know Neil will too. Farewell, my furry little intern.