Dear Grok,

Since you’re a cat and I’m a human being, it seemed strange at first when visitors said that we looked alike. Still, it happened several times that they studied our blue eyes and fair complexions and then blurted out, “It’s obvious that you are family!” Jokingly, of course, but with a touch of seriousness.

And now, we have yet another thing in common…

I don’t think I ever told you, but as a young man, I left relationships a few times when I feared that my girlfriend was more interested in another boy. Heartbroken, I quietly sneaked out the back door, grumbling, “I knew that this would happen.”

Who would have guessed that you one day would react in the same way?

I confess that I was enthralled when she, being just the size of my shoe, was playing war. It was priceless to watch the way she was hiding and attacking, trying to look big and scary while skipping sideways on all fours. I was charmed by her wide open, innocent eyes, her ridiculously oversized ears, and her cute little tail.

I was so focused on her that I didn’t notice that you were watching us from a distance, feeling left out, neglected and abandoned.

I should have invited you in.

Next morning, when I couldn’t find you, I remembered and understood. I wanted to tell you that I never intended to replace you with her. Neither for her youth and attraction, nor as a punishment for what happened to my rattan chairs. You will always belong in my heart!

Did I ever tell you how I found your name? When you came to my house, I was reading Stranger in a Strange Land by the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein. The book is about a fascinating man who comes from the planet Mars to Earth. He introduces the philosophy of the word “grok,” which has many symbolic meanings, such as, “to merge,” “to join,” “to become one.”

From the moment I first saw you, I knew that “Grok” was your name.

Please come back home, Grok!

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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
3 months ago

Inter-species understanding of belonging in a warm and funny story. Let’s all get more grok in our lives! 

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
3 months ago

This is heartbreaking Christer. Is it based on a true story? We had a cat who went missing just over two years ago, Spyro. We still miss him every day. We think someone took him though; he was very contented with his life ????

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
3 months ago

Let us both keep hope in our hearts. After Spyro went missing my hubby built a 30’ x 10’ catio in the back garden to keep the remaining 6 safe. Unfortunately, we lost one of the 18 year olds to cancer last year. We can’t keep them safe from old age and disease unfortunately, though we did our best for him.

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart (@melissa-taggart)
3 months ago

This is a heartbreaking story, Christer. When our furry little friends disappear there is a hole left in our hearts, I believe. It’s one that never completely fills in again! They are family as much as humans are, and sometimes more so.

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills (@greene-m-wills)
3 months ago

Being a very cat orientated person and “Mom” of two wonderful but geriatric cats, I can only absolutely love your story! It made me think about the empathy our felines feel for us. I just hope that Grok came home eventually…

Paul Lewthwaite
Paul Lewthwaite (@paul-lewthwaite)
3 months ago

As a cat lover (with one very bossy female cat at home) I could really relate to this story, told so affectionately, but so poignant at the same time. I think you captured that love we can have for our feline friends (rulers) so well.

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Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate (@thompson-emate)
3 months ago

This is a nice story, Christer. Another twist to your writing prowess. I’m not a pet lover although I have had several ones while growing up. Your story reminds me of a movie trailer, “Dog”. ” Grok”, what a special name for a pet. What kind of animal is it?

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
3 months ago

This is a very sad story, Christer. I hope Grok comes back to you. I will pray for that.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
3 months ago

You’re welcome, Christer.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
3 months ago

Though your story is so sad Christer, you are still able to add humour to it. That is a real talent. Your love for Grok shines through and I hope very much that Grok comes home.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris (@julie-harris)
3 months ago

Oh Christer, my heart goes out to you! My beloved cat Lyra was unexpectedly joined by a tiny intruder who just showed up one day. Ari, the kitten, was and is a drama queen and a ball of mischief. Lyra, on the other hand, is a well-bred lady. Even though they are both tuxedo cats and look like family, they are total individuals. Lyra never left home, although she has expressed her displeasure from time to time when we pay more attention to Ari. I pray your Grok comes back. I would be devastated if Lyra left.

By the way the word “grok” became a part of the language of me and my hippie friends of the seventies. “I grok that” meant “I empathize with what you’re saying”, etc. I smiled when I read his name.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris (@julie-harris)
3 months ago

Hi Christer – I forgot to mention that Ari showed up out of nowhere almost seven years ago. The two of them are like sisters now – sometimes fighting playfully and sometimes sleeping peacefully side by side. Ari likes to copy everything Lyra does, and Lyra has even gotten younger since she has a running buddy to learn from. Does Grok have an “ownership chip” inserted? One time Ari disappeared, and we didn’t have a clue where she was until they called from the animal shelter. Someone had turned her in as a stray!

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
3 months ago

Christer, this is a very touching, sad story, but as Linda said, I appreciate the humour too. I’m sure that you have many special memories of Grok and I hope that somehow he will come back home. I’ve learned many years ago, in my teenage years, that cats don’t always take well to new feline additions to the family, when our cat took off when the new kitten arrived. It is so sad. It is very true that people and their pets are sometimes so similar, it is uncanny!

Staci Harrington
Staci Harrington (@staci-harrington)
3 months ago

What a beautiful, expressive story Christer! I have a cat so this touched me. 

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Staci Harrington
Staci Harrington (@staci-harrington)
3 months ago

I remember when she was small and she accidentally got locked outside, I was beside myself looking for her. Eventually, when I found her she was huddled up behind a wall. Needless to say she’s been an indoor cat ever since. I feel your trauma, I really do.

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