Our tale begins almost five years ago on 28th May 2006 when Lia was Christened and she received 24 pink dresses as gifts from various Greek friends and relatives. All of the dresses were aged 12 - 18 months and all were extremely flouncy and totally inappropriate so I then spent almost a week going around Athens and exchanging the dresses for more appropriate clothes - something that wasn't exactly fun as approriate clothing in my eyes is far from what anyone in Greece thinks LOL.
Anyway, after three days of this I was extremely bored so when I saw the shop we went into first had toys I decided to get one. After much deliberation I picked a cuddly cat that was orange and pink - just because it had a lovely face and a rattle in it's tummy. This day just happened to be Lia's first birthday.
Scroll on six months and we were back in Greece for Christmas with various toys including the cat which she had taken a shine to. On one particular day she was running around the appartment in Greece saying 'nayno, nayno, nayno' and we had no idea what she was doing (other than maybe being a police car). Eventually she found the cat and picked it up saying 'Nayno!' and then proceeded to talk at it for quite some time.
From that point on the cat was Nayno (we have no idea why) and it (it started as a he and became a she and is now one or the other depending on Lia's mood) became Lia's one true friend. The Hobbes to her Calvin...
Fast forward another six months and we were back in Greece with Nayno who had started to fray around the neck. We found an identical cat in the same shop and decided to swap them as she was too young to notice.
This became regeneration 1 and Nayno 2 settled down to a life of adoration and adventure. And much, much washing. And a close encounter with her paw and some green gloss paint.
One year later we went back to Greece and DH's Mum announced she had found and purchased a third cat! Number 2 was decidedly ropey after a year of love and attention (and the occasional vomit and nosebleed) so we did another swap. Again Lia coped, her only comment being 'I've got a pretty Nayno!' when we gave it to her after a 'magic wash' from her Yia-Yia.
So here she was, a three year old with a twice regenerated cat and we thought that maybe, just maybe, the love would wane slightly and this one would last. However here we are, just short of her sixth birthday and Nayno is still the companion of choice, still the one that must go to bed with her and still the one who is loved beyond all adult comprehension.
And the one who unfortunately now looks like this:
Too floppy even to sit up unaided! If you hold her up to the light you can see through her neck and there are a lot of bald patches on her back.
An internet search brought up the horrifying fact that Nayno's are now extinct! They ceased to be manufactured around 18 months ago and nowhere on the web could we find one. Around 8 months ago a minor miracle occured and I found a Nayno on eBay - I eagerly bought and paid for it and waited for it to be shipped from France only to discover on it's arrival that it was in fact a mini-Nayno! No matter it was Christened Naynaki (little Nayno) and became Nayno's baby to be loved in a similar manner to it's mother.
Then, against all odds, DH found a Nayno. In Mexico. Several emails and an EXTORTIONATE, never to be admitted, amount of postage later and Nayno IV was on it's way to us from deepest darkest Mexico, via Memphis (I think he went to Graceland - he is the coolest cat after all) and he arrived here this morning.
So now Lia is primed that Mummy, who can do anything, is going to work on Nayno tonight and fill up her stuffing, 'dye' her fur, sew up her holes and generally make her beautiful again. Will it work? I don't know. What I do know is that if it doesn't and we end up confessing the existence of the original three Lia will have more than enough room in her heart for all of them - whatever they look like...
So Nayno IV has met his predecessors and submitted his references (proof if it were needed that DH is as mad as I am as he set up this shot)
He's bonded with them:
Had a cuddle with Nayno III
And taken up the baton of Naynodom on his own
1 hour ago