Not any cat, but a cat that was 1 of the best I have ever known. I have had lots of cats, I loved each of them, but this cat, 1 that wasnt even mine, was pretty special.
Garfield looked exactly like the cartoon icon. The colouring was eerily similar.
What seperated this Garfield though from the fictional one was, this Garfield was an energetic cat. An alpha male type, always reminding other cats it was his area. He was an exceptional mouser (I think maybe the best 1 I have known). He also had this unusually unique action, that he only seemed to engage in with me, and he really preferred my right arm over my left for it, but he would take which ever 1 was availale, where he would get all 4 legs on my arm & knead it with his back legs...and he would do this, literally for 1/2 an hour if I didnt stop him. I never got why he did it, why he only did it to me, but if he had the chance, he took it. He loved attention. He was all around, a great cat.
Of all the animals I have owned, I really am not sure what happened to most of them in the end. Some moved on to new homes, some I know had been put down due to illness or an injury from an animal attack, but I dont think I ever had a cat die from being hit by a vehicle that I knew of. I had a cat get hit by a vehicle, but she survived & seemingly had no lingering side effects from the hit. Garfield didnt have that luck. He was hit in the head.
I had the misfortune of seeing the immediate after effcts of what happened. I dont think I saw him get hit, but I dont really know what I saw leading up.
My attention was divered to that area as voices escalated. This isnt a rare thing in this area. For someone not from this area, you would probably think there was 50 reasons to call the cops a night. But living here, you learn the difference between "not great" & "really bad" situations pretty quick. I didnt know yet what I was looking at, but I had my phone in hand, incase it was a "really bad" situation as the early signs of what I thought I might be seeing alerted me enough to put my shoes on & go downstairs.
What I saw from my window was a woman, from my vantage point, it seemed she might be trying to escape a guy, I now know why. The way she was standing in the road, her hands on her head, bent over, I wondered if she was bleeding. By the time I got down the stairs to the porch, others had come over & were already leaving the scene. She was now standing upright, hand still on her head. A friend of Garfields owner saw me on my porch & asked me "thats not Garfield, is it?" I then realized, she wasnt holding her head out of an injury, but because she was horrified by what she saw. The man had tried probably to hold her back from what she saw. & thats what I saw in the dark from where I was, not her trying to get away out of fear, but because she wanted to check on the cat she just saw get hit.
There was infact a dead animal on the road. I went down the porch stairs & promptly went over. By then someone had come with a large plastic sheet to put over the animal that I still had not yet seen. I heard "cat" as I got closer, so I asked the 3 people around there "what colour is the cat", only answer I got was "its dead". NOT the question I asked you. I pulled back the sheet & sure enough, I had the misfortune of seeing Garfield there, lifeless.
I instantly told my neighbours friend to get the owner. Sure enough a minute later, he came out, his dad behind him. When his friend confirmed it was Garfield, he asked his dad to take care of it, he emotionally wasnt able to at that point. He told his dad "dont throw him in the garbage". This kid usually has it together, exudes a toughness that is either real or well crafted to seem so, but this was truly hurting him too much to deal with. I went & got a proper bag to put Garfield in, and his dad packaged him up to take home till his son could figure out what he wanted to do about him.
In the past few months, Garfield had seemed a tad slower going down stairs. Going up them and on flat land he seemed his old self, but going down, a little off. I wondered, as did others if there was an unchecked injury. He also had become a lot more brave about travelling outside his area. He rarely crossed the street in years past, but was doing so on a more frequent basis this summer. What was he doing where he got him though was a bit odd, it was further away from his area than I usually would see him. Also, what caused him to dart out onto the street in the 1st place? I'll never likely have an answer to either of these questions.
All I can do now is remember the awesomeness of the cat that his owner often called "G". I know when people wake up today & word gets out, a bunch of people from here will be sad to hear about his death. He was loved by most of the people here (even the 1 guy who often said he hated him & was allergic to him). Like the death of most animals, everyone will eventually move on, most will forget about him, some will remember him. Some, will miss him.
Rest In Peace Garfield.