Circles of Gunther

Feb 09, 2021


I stumbled on a picture of Gunther the Cat on my phone. His thin frame, rough fur, and protective posture, just a few days before he died in October. With a little time and distance, I could see how far gone he had gotten. At the time, his decline was gradual until it got steep and sad and scary.

That image (not shown) threw me into the deep end of grief.

If you've experienced the boundless love between you and an animal you've shared your life with, you know the full body wallop this is. 

While not brightsiding myself, I needed some way of diffusing that crystal clear, heartbreaking final image in my mind's eye. 

I started thinking about ALL of his days when the last ones haunt me. Doing the math. Here's how it broke down: 

🟢 12 great years

🟡 2 aging years

🔴 3 rough weeks

⚫ 3 last days he wasn't himself any more

These numbers helped. Even if I gave us 3 rough months in the end, that is 1.2% of his whole time on this earth. 

Making an actual frickin' pie chart helped even more. Mercifully, that black sliver when Gunther wasn't Gunther isn't visible. 

Giving myself space to feel, even if the feels don't feel good. Gunther was/is absolutely worth it. 

The recency makes those hard mental images vivid. But a little math and graphs absolutely helps keep perspective. 

Gunther in his glory: 

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