Sunday, November 20, 2011


A week ago my father-in-law, Wladyslaw (Walter) Parij, passed away at the age of 88.  He was born in Poland, and was a veteran of WWII, specifically of the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.  He endured many hardships in his early years before he emigrated to Canada after the war.  There he met his wife, Jozefa and they had four children, one of whom is my husband (also Walter Parij).

In the last few years he was living in a retirement home which he called "The Hotel".  By this point he had Alzheimer's and was pretty confused, but happy at his room in the hotel with its regular meals (for which he was normally first in line).

We would bring him to our house on a regular basis for dinner and a visit -- and that included kitty time, too, of course.

Here he is on his 88th birthday last May.

Walter Sr. never had a pet of his own.  He thought animals only belonged on a farm.  However, as he mellowed in his latter years he became quite enamoured of my three cats -- especially Dante who knew who "Grampa" was and would come out to greet him whenever I yelled "Grampa's here!".

 Grampa was always good for some real good chin 'scritchens'.  Even though Dante loved him, he was still compelled to do that arms' length thing that cats are wont to do.

Dante liked to sit on one of the extra dining chairs closest to Grampa, but would hop down when offered something yummy.

Grampa and Dante weren't just fairweather furiends -- oh no!  Whatever the weather, they'd sit together.
Grampa would even kiss Dante on his mouth, though I never managed to capture one of those special moments on camera.

Grampa loved to dangle toys at the kitties.  It aMEWSed him endlessly.  Here he is enticing Dylan to play.

And, on the softer side, if he could catch one, Grampa liked to cuddle.  Domino was happy to oblige.

I am so glad that Grampa was able to experience the joy of pets in his last years.  They never failed to make him smile.

Grampa passed quickly and peacefully and we'll all miss him, as we do with all of those we care about.  Bye, bye Grampa!  See you later on the Bridge.


Daisy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Grampa sounds like he was a wonderful man, and I love that he had so much fun with the kittehs.

Soft purrs to you during this sad time.

Unknown said...

Dear Wendy,
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss. Our thoughts are with you
Nellie. Kozmo, the hairt slobbery sisters and Mommy and Daddy

Fuzzy Tales said...

Oh, Wendy, we're so sorry and are sending purrs and condolences to your entire family. We remember the birthday pics.

Universal Peace and Blessings to you all.

Katnip Lounge said...

Wendy, {{hugs}} and purrs from Mommy and The Cats for your loss, it makes us happy to know that he was so loved and had such a full life.

Cats of Wildcat Woods said...

Lovely tribute to your Grandpa - sending lots of purrs your way.

With deep sympathy,
Cheri and Cats of wildcat woods

Old Kitty said...

Me and my cat Charlie came over from Fuzzy Tales. We are so so sorry for you loss. Your grandpa was quite a wonderful, brave and amazing man! We love that he bonded very well with Dante and adored all of you. We are keeping you all in our thoughts. Take care

Angel, Kirby and Max said...

I am so sorry to hear this Wendy! It is never easy losing someone you love. At least you and your kitties gave him some pleasure in his last years!


We are very sorry to hear about the loss of beloved Grampa, we are sending you our softest whisker kisses and we will keep you all in our purrs.

Jenn said...

I'm sorry about Grampa's passing. He was really sweet with the cats. I love how he was cuddling Domino. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Brian's Home Blog said...

I am so very sorry to hear about your Grandpa and we send you many purrs and lots of hugs.

Jans Funny Farm said...

It is nice your Grampa and Dante had a special bond and he enjoyed the cats. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Oui Oui said...

Hi Wendy, we are so sorry for the loss of your Grampa. Its wonderful how you were able to open the loving world of pets to him in his later years. He so obviously was a cat person. Our thoughts and hearts are with you. Many purrs and hugs from us all. Paula and the TTT Gang

Sparkle said...

It's so nice that your grandpa enjoyed quality kitty time in his later years. Warm and sympathetic purrs to you.

Anonymous said...

Our condolences to you! It sounds like Grampa had a wonderful time in his twilight years--family is very important during this time, even the four-legged members!

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

We're sorry to hear Grampa died ~ but we are happy that his passing was quick and comfortable, and he was loved. It's wonderful that he got to appreciate animals towards the end of his life too.

Sending you sincere condlances and ((((hugs)))) and PURRS.

Milo is on his way over to comfort Dommy ~ and bring her back for Alfie's gotcha day party tommorow. xx

Jenna and Sissy said...

We are sorry to hear Grampa died and are sending purrs. We think it is awesome that he enjoyed the kitties so much in his late years.

Quill and Greyson said...

We are so sorry for your loss. Purrs and hugs to you and your family.

8GR8LOLCATS said...

What a lovely tribute to your FIL Walter. My dad also was very fond of my cats in his old age. It's very sweet that they enjoy all the love that cats can give.

88 is definitely longevity and his life was very full. You and Walter were always so kind to him with your wonderful delicious meals for birthdays and holidays.

Our sympathy to you and Walter at this very sad time. XO CC