Saturday, November 11, 2006
A tribute to our friend, Garfield
Originally uploaded by Curt Stone.
Three years ago, I began to notice a group of three cats in my yard on a regular basis. We throw out scraps of food for the wild animals and crows. Everyday, I noticed these cats eating the scraps. There was this guy we named Garfield, a female we named 'Mama' and a male kitten we named 'Baby'. It became clear that these cats were abandoned. They all would run fast if I went near. We bought some cat food and began feeding them. We had no animals in our home because my wife is allergic to cats and dogs. We contacted some shelters but they advised the best we could do for them would be to leave them and feed them if we wanted. Garfield was the first to become approachable. It seems to me that he had some interactions with humans and you could pet his head if he was hungry. Otherwise, he would growl and take a swipe at you. It was a good idea to keep your distance. For the winter, we put a house on our deck with hay. He liked to sleep there or in our neighbors shed. They had a path in the snow from the shed to our deck and back door. We became attached to these cats. In the following Febuary, Mama had a litter of 3 males. I learned that cats can have more than one father for a litter. Around this time, we had another stray walking my yard and I believe he fathered one of the kittens as well as Garfield. We called this new addition 'Yoda' because his ears were flat. Garfield and Yoda often fought and sometimes tolorated each other. Garfield was one of the toughest cats I've ever known. He had a half chewed right ear and many scars from battle. He took no shit from anyone. He enjoyed eating a big meal and laying in the sun on our deck.(as seen in this picture from this summer) . He seemed to catch many colds and would often have cuts from fights he got in. Over the past three years he overcame all these obstacles until recently. We noticed his belly begin to bloat. We gave him some medicine for worms but it seems this didn't help. We noticed him not around last Thursday and we feared something happened to him. I checked the box on Saturday morning and found him crawled up inside. He was breathing but not moving too much. We checked on him all day and he continued to decline. I buried him on Sunday morning. It makes me angry that this beautiful animal was abandoned by some ass. I'm glad that we kept him happy during his life and he brought us joy. Not to mention, three kittens that we cherish and they're doing great. Mama and one of her other babies still come to our door. Baby shows up occasionally. They all went to the box to look for Garfield. I believe they knew of his death and sensed it. Mama even came close to me while I buried Garfield.
Garfield, I hope your pain is gone and your in a better place. You brought us joy and we'll keep you in our hearts till we see you again in heaven.