I've been trying and failing to write and complete this for a few weeks now. It hasn't gone smoothly. I am absolutely heartbroken. Garfunkel, my almost 21 year old cat is in heaven. It's almost been one month, and it hasn't gotten any easier like they say it does, and I haven't gone a day without an overload of tears. I am completely crushed. He was part of my life for so many years and has offered so much love, I really don't know what I'll do without that little nugget. Things aren't the same.
Garfunkel found me while I was in college in Flagstaff, AZ. I was volunteering at an animal shelter and Garf reached out to me (literally, through his cage) and started yell-purring at me. Apparently, he wasn't the friendliest feline (to other cats or people), and the employees were really surprised when he latched onto me. We fell in love real fast.
I went back every day that week and got completely attached to him. The same employee told me they were going to put him to sleep on Thursday, two days away, if he wasn't adopted by that time. I proceeded to freak out and told myself I would come back Wednesday afternoon and if he hadn't been adopted, I'd take him home. (At the time, "home" was a dorm room...)
I went back Wednesday and was told they had put him to sleep. I immediately broke down and went into a dog's kennel and sat there crying for a couple hours. I finally got the nerve to go into the cat room and saw that Garfunkel was still there, looking so sad and stressed out. Sadly, they did euthanize a different cat, but Garf was still there, waiting for me. I didn't have a car, so I called a couple friends (I am still grateful to Morgan and Seth!) and I adopted FunkyG and we smuggled him into my dorm room (so sly!). I lived right across from the RA and was so worried she was going to find out about Garf and tell me I couldn't have him in there. She told me she knew about him on the day I moved out, a few months later. So glad she was a good sport about the situation.
G-Nugget lived in 7 different states with me and visited 19 of them. He was a ramblin' catboy and loved road trips. He was such a good little traveler. He was always an inside cat but loved rolling (flopping?) around in the sun when I'd bring him out on the porch with me. I adopted another cat (Hayduke, a stray who found me while I was living in a crappy trailer park in Corpus Christi) and when I introduced the two of them, I was so paranoid that Garf would be really mean and hate Hayduke, but the two of them fell into cat-love within days. I'm so sad for Hayduke because I know he misses his buddy like crazy. He's been extra snuggly and needy, and really doesn't like to be alone. He and Garf were ridiculous together. Cutest thing ever. True love.
Garfunkel loved mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, long road trips, short road trips, valerian root, asparagus, cucumbers, a nice IPA, a little red wine, chasing geckos that got in the house. He LOVED his best friend/cat lover, Hayduke, and his old dog buddies Sebastian and Abbey. I know he was absolutely in love with me. He loved my mom and dad. He loved a good whiskey, smelling the fresh air, rolling around in the sun, chattering at outside cats, chipmunks, and birds through the window (no way that guy was allowed outside unsupervised). He loved snuggling like a person, spooning me while I slept, nose kisses, being brushed. He loved biting metal stuff (goofball), bubble wrap. He really had a thing for bubble wrap. He'd smell bubble wrap from miles (or at least rooms) away, seek it out and destroy that stuff. He had the most hilarious meow you've ever heard, also audible from miles away. Pretty impressive. He had a canine tooth removed years ago and had a snaggle smile which could put anyone in a good mood. He loved licking my nose, drinking my water (or whatever was in my glass), serious eye contact, bathing Hayduke for hours. He absolutely loved being brushed (Hayduke does too). He loved climbing the attic stairs, even in his old age.
Garfunkel was a super snuggler. He slept like a person and would crawl under the covers and spoon me all the time, wrapping his little cat arms around my neck and burrowing his head into me. He'd give me the guiltiest look when I had to get out of bed! His spoons were one of the things that made me happiest. Without fail, he knew when I was sad and would always comfort me. I don't care if it sounds crazy, we had a real, intense connection and he was one of my soul mates. I am so unbelievably sad without him around. I know he had the happiest life though, and I am so grateful that he was part of mine, and is still part of mine. I have so many happy memories with that guy, but I still can't stop crying.