This is not the first post I had planned to write when I decided to set up a website for my fiction writing endeavours.

But it’s the post that I feel I have to write, the one that captures reality, the one that fits.

Last Friday, after seventeen years, George passed away.

George was our cat and together with his sister, Alpha, he was the inspiration for the name of police detective George Alpha, protagonist of the short stories that led me to create this site.

Seventeen years ago, when my – back then – future wife and I started living together, we wanted two cats. From a litter of three, we picked one male, George, and one female, Alpha. We had both of them for seventeen long and precious years, living with us day in and day out, always being around.

In September 2019 George was diagnosed with kidney failure, due to his age. Despite our best efforts with special food and extra care, we could not stop the decline, and as of January 2020 things kept going downhill.

Last week Wednesday we made the hard decision that it would be best for him to let him go. Friday was the last day we had to enjoy his company and we made the most of it, taking plenty of pictures, spending extra time together. In the evening we said our final goodbye, we stayed with him until the very end.

The COVID-19 lockdown has allowed my wife and me to spend more time with George and Alpha in these past months, and we’ve known for a while where the journey would end. But it’s always too soon.

After seventeen years of always being there… his presence around the house is sorely missed. We still expect him to show up at any moment and every time we see a shadow move, we have to correct our inner thoughts that assume it’s him. It’s painful, we’re grieving, seeing all the different stages of grief passing by.

There’s a hole in our heart, our little family is not entirely complete anymore. It will take some time to get used to that. We made the right call for him, but we still had to say goodbye to a dear dear friend…

He’s now outlived by his sister, whom we hope to have with us for a while still. Even though she’s equally old, she currently appears to be in a much better shape still, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

There’s a story behind the name of George Alpha, a story of cats, love, some grief in the end but a lot of companionship and happiness along the way. I felt I needed to share that tidbit. George will always live on in our own hearts and while his spirit cannot return to a new body in this reality, a part of him does live on in the city as well…

We miss you buddy.

PS: If you’d like to know a bit more or see some pictures, my wife wrote a nice biography of our cats on her blog.

One thought on “George

  1. Now I can’t un-think the fact that George Alpha is -in fact- a cat police detective in a futuristic world populated by cats. The choice of ‘Barker’ as a last name doesn’t seem very coïncidental either…
    All joking aside, my sincerest condolences.

    Liked by 1 person

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