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.