Wednesday, September 23, 2015

G-Funk Forever

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.


John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I feel your loss and pain so very much for I have been there myself and I know all too well what you are going through. I almost thought I would be in that horrible place again a year ago when Sinbad was diagnosed with failing kidneys (I've lost more than one cat to kidney failure) and prepared for his end. I even had dug a grave for him, tears running down my cheeks while I labored in the hard dirt. Meanwhile he rebounded in a weeks care at the vet and is still with me today, a year later (I've filled in the gravesite). Now, in the past few months I have realized he has lost his hearing, or most of it. My poor little deaf cat longs to hear my voice and it pains me to see him confused, wondering what is going on here. But this isn't about Sinbad who just turned 17; it is about Garfunkle being almost 21. He has given Sinbad and I hope that we will have a few more years together with proper diet and his daily thyroid medicine. Thank you G-Funk! That was a wonderful write-up about your little buddy, one that only a cat lover could really understand. Hopefully it was helpful and therapeutic for you to put down in words your life together. My eyes are watering as I write this for I am so scared of being so alone someday as you are now Jill. You have Hayduke and that is a blessing to cherish. Incidentally, our match-up was much like yours and Garfunkle's although Sinbad wasn't on death row. But he picked me while I was reeling from the untimely death of Pink (my previous cat who liked Pink Floyd). Often I have silently thanked Pink for giving me the best cat I have ever had in my entire life. Be strong and you will get through this. John & >^..^<

Nate McGowan said...

I'm really sorry that you had to write this post, but I'm very glad that you powered through and did it. Always loved seeing what Garunkel and Hayduke were up to. I hope you are able to find some peace in the next few months. My girls have been getting spoiled with treats, brushing, and snuggles since I heard about G-funk. Sincerest condolences.

Luisa said...

RIP Garfunkel -- he must have been perfectly awesome. Yes, you both were crazy lucky, not that that eases the heartache much. But the love will last. Take care --


Mary Cromer said...

What a beautiful post remembering for your sweet cat, and he really was way too adorable! I am so sorry Jill. When we have had a loss of a pet, it takes us a very long time to get over them no longer being here. The longer they are intertwined in your heart and life, the more difficult it is. It looks like Garfunkel had a marvelous life with you and his brother though and shared many a wonderful memories with you. Take good care~

Jodi said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Garfunkel sounds like an amazing cat. Thanks for sharing your experience here, I think that's really important. Wish I'd written things down about my first cat when the memories were still fresh.