Monday, February 14, 2011

Tribute to Griffey: An Epitaph for My Cat


It was approximately 12:15 on the afternoon of Saturday, February 12 2011 when my beloved cat - Griffin Kenneth “Griffey” Barthel - looked at me with despair.

His right eyeball almost entirely above the upper ridge of his eye frame, Griffey appeared dazed and confused as he meowed for my attention. Peering downward from my computer chair, I noticed his nearly all-white eye and my heart immediately saddened for my poor pet’s problem.

The past few weeks, my 20-year-old cat seemed in decent health - especially for his age. But the revelation of this latest impairment to my fair Griffey instantly led me to a gravely imminent decision - it’s time. It’s time for Griffey to be eternally rested.

As difficult it is for me to see this happen, I’ve already been preparing myself for several weeks and months for the death of another dear spirit - my grandma, Ceil Barthel. My precious 94-year-old grandmother’s rapidly declining health aside, Griffey still appeared in good health and spirits.

At the fragile stage of 20 years’ age, Griffey’s had the natural propensities of weaker legs, increased lethargy and general slowness. But he has also been enjoying life’s two most essential needs - food and love.

Despite spending countless hours - perhaps 21 or 22 a day - sleeping near the heat register of my bedroom, Griffey portrayed vigorous excitement when presented with a fresh bowl of food beneath his eagerly awaiting mouth. Also, he has continued to show his appreciation for affection, releasing a smooth purr when receiving soft hugs or gentle touches of my hand on daily occurrences.

Thoughts of Griffey living another six months or one-to-two years crossed my mind, until that fateful Saturday - yesterday. It’s time for him to go, time for him to ascend upward to the holy pet haven in the sky.

Besides a brief time with one other kitten, Griffey has been the sole pet and soul part of my life. The warmth, the joy, the calm, the care, Griffey has been a constant companion over my ever evolving existence.

My heart, my care, my love ... they all run deep with the joy you’ve bestowed upon me, Griffey. Yes, my dear friend, you can rest assured that you will never be forgotten.

Love always and forever,
-Jeff


**Written Sunday, Feb. 13 (in preparation of my dear cat's passing)

3 comments:

Dan1648 said...

Sorry, I lost My cat also named Griffey yesterday she was 16 & was the best cat in the world, she just rapidly declined in the last three weeks & went blind too, sadly she wasn't the cat I knew for 16 years & I knew what had to be done yet it was still very hard & I write this with a heavy heart & tears in my eyes, I lost my best friend & roommate of 16 years.

JRB Sports Scribe said...

Dan,
Wow. That's quite a coincidence. For whatever reason, I was never made aware of your comment. I just pulled up my Griffey post to show it to a friend of mine.

Anyways, I just tried to respond to you, but I wasn't able to. I clicked your name icon and, from there, I didn't see any e-mail or return message option.

If you're able to get this message, please feel free to e-mail me if you'd like to talk more. I always enjoy telling people about Griffey.

Take care,

-Jeff
(jeffbarthel@yahoo.com)

The Window Woman said...

Thank you for the post on Griffey. I just googled Griffey the cat and found it. My Griffey was a black cat that walked up my sidewalk 19 years and 6 months ago and stayed. This guy has 9 lives! For the last year I've made a conscious effort to embrace his every grumpy annoying demands, lol. I would consciously memorize moments, eye contact, the feel of his fur and withering body and his little paw on my arm asking for attention 1000 times a day when I was working on the pc. I loved him. I had to let him go last week and I miss the little bugger.

He was with me longer than either of my kids or Ed. I really believe animals go to heaven. Just can't imagine they wouldnt, especially since God knows how much we love them and he loves us, so there.

I'm pretty private and reserved so haven't shared my loss so thank you for this opportunity to share it with someone who knows and understands. My neighbor gave him the name Griffey cuz he was the new little black kid on the block, lol.