We're sitting on the hard floor in an apartment with no furniture watching our cat Ted, heavily burdened with diarrhoea, scrooching his arse along the otherwise pristine vinyl in an attempt to clean himself after a particularly nasty litter box event. He leaves a trail, not quite shit-brown but mostly clear in colour, because by now he's mostly shitted-out.
Spray-and-Wipe and a few rolls of paper towel were among our very first supermarket purchases.
Ted arrived by courier after a six-day journey from Canberra to Sydney to Dubai to Barcelona to San Sebastián, his new forever home. The poor little bastard was sick as a dog, never having coped well with the stress of a car ride to the vet let alone an international odyssey.
That was two weeks ago. Lucky for us the cat's stomach has settled and he's nearly back to his annoying little fluffy-bastard self.
Back in Aus it was touch and go whether we would bring him with us at all. Pet owners will understand the dilemma; non pet owners will think we're insane. I think we're somewhere in the middle but, temporary distress aside, I think it was better for Ted that he came with us.
Also I'm enjoying a newfound tolerance to extreme cat fluids and a rather useful ability to clean them from the floor, sheets and, on one occasion, the wall.
Anyway, to the reason I'm here writing at you. Mainly it's for posterity and because I have a big head but somehow I feel obliged to document what on paper seems an absurd life plan and in practice is a Great Unknown, the likes of which neither Jess nor I have ever attempted.
We've moved from Australia to Spain, more accurately to the Basque country, with a cat, barely knowing any Spanish (and zero Euskara, the local lingo), having divested ourselves of our house and a lifetime's worth of possessions, leaving us with two suitcases' worth of stuff, much of which has the wrong plug.
My standard response to fellow Aussies when asked what the hell we're doing that for is – to use a gaming analogy – that we've 'cleared level Australia' and are looking for a lifestyle pattern that actually suits us, foregoing the one into which we were both involuntarily jammed by a fluke of birth geography. To further the analogy it feels like we've woken up in Spain, naked, with zero experience points and an inventory to match.
Next post soon. For now, on to Level One.