This page was created in loving memory of our beloved Grouik, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on July 21, 2012.
You will find a video of him, a tribute by his human, picture of his little paradise, Grouik’s resting place, links to posts that featured him and 409 pictures selected among probably easily more than a thousand pictures featuring him.
We miss you Grouik. We will always love you and keep you in our hearts and memories.
Grouik adopted me in late 1998.
I moved to Paris a year before from my hometown in Center East France, leaving my childhood behind, as well as many griefs for some stupid reasons I don’t even remember. It was a clear cut. I had a grand old time in Paris, lots of things to do for a young man with a good job, money, lots of time and energy, and no liability.
Grouik was the first cat who chose to come and live with me (I had another cat when I was a kid, for a short time before she disappeared). In a way, he partly made me a grown up, since from this time on I had to be responsible for the welfare of another being. Grouik taught me everything that had to be known about cats: my role, and his role.
His departure leaves a saddening, even irritating emptiness. Cats are very much creatures of routine, much more so than us vertical bipedes. In all the places we’ve lived in (7 homes in 4 countries for the last 14 years), Grouik reclaimed places in space and time. In his last home, I knew he was in a specific place when he wasn’t out: on my chair in the kitchen waiting for his share of our dinner, behind said chair gluttonously gobbling up canned food or raw meat, on the kitchen window sill asking us to let him in whenever we were cooking (he knew when we were unwrapping meat, almost all the time, wherever he happened to be), on the sofa top for a nap, on the armrest so he could watch over his dominion on rainy days; at bedtime, he would hop on the bed to claim his daily, exclusive petting, with me all for himself; in the morning, he inevitably was at the front door waiting for one of us to open this door to the outside world. Indeed this routine is gone now, leaving an unbearable absence; something dramatically changed in our (my wife and I) universe, besides “big holes in our hearts” as Sparkle puts it.
More than any other, the vivid picture I keep in mind is him watching outside, from the window or from the deck… Always looking outside. That’s where Grouik’s life was, that was his grand purpose. I couldn’t keep him locked inside when he could just go out and live.
All I’m left with are countless memories, and, because I’m a human, rationalizations. I have to believe Grouik had a wonderful life, despite all these places we moved in, and all the highs and lows in my life.
Cats are way beyond the cutest incarnation of freedom. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, as the founders of this great nation put it, words of sheer genius — cat genius. It’s not just an old, familiar sentence. Cats have been around us humans for the longest time (9,000+ years according to some), yet they never had to make such a Declaration: that’s just what cats are. What I learned with Grouik is we humans have a role in the “Life” part: food, shelter, and occasional visits to the vet; the cat perfectly takes care of the rest, and we should not interfere. Wild and feral cats have unlimited freedom and short lives, as opposed to appartment cats who are very healthy but are short on freedom. I tried to find the middle ground with Grouik, and I have to believe I did pretty good. I cared immensely about Grouik, and it was reciprocal, but I think of this as a consequence of taking good care and good understanding, almost guess work at times.
It’s customary to say when a human passes away that “he/she is in a better place now”: that may very well be true, for we [collectively] humans have a sickening tendency to allow a small minority of power hungry people to make other people’s lives miserable under fallacious and misguided pretenses. But this human design flaw is irrelevant to cats: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, each cat his own way. I just don’t know if he’s in a better place now, and it doesn’t really matter: think of the Life part, as in “alive”.
Rationalizations, as I said — I did good in regards to the “Life” part, so yes, I really think Grouik had a wonderful, wonderful life. In the end, this is all what matters.
(click on any of the pictures below to see a bigger size and open the slideshow)