If you’re a fan of the comedian Garry Shandling, I highly recommend the HBO documentary ‘The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling’. I was truly blown away as to how well this was done – the main reason it was so good is that it was produced by Judd Apatow, who worked with Shandling for a number of years.

The documentary also got me thinking about my old cat, Garry. Short for Garry Shandling. Yes, a cat named Garry Shandling. My ex-girlfriend had young nieces, funny kids. They had this cat and didn’t know what to name it. This was back when ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ was still on TV. The youngest (the really funny one) heard the name and thought it was funny, and the name stuck.

Fast forward a bit – they had to get rid of the cat for reasons I can’t recall (allergies?). We wound up with the cat at our apartment. We later broke up, the girlfriend moved away. I got the cat.

This cat had quite the personality. More human that your standard house cat. This cat would sleep under the covers, with his head on the pillow. When I would come home from work, he would stand on the arm of the sofa and put his paws on my shoulder, so that i would hug him and then pick him up. A big chonky boi. A good companion, never any trouble. Except poor Garry had a serious case of wanderlust. Any time the front door or sliding glass door was open for more than minute, he was gone. The condo I lived in at the time had private doorways, and each time he escaped he made it further and further down the series of doorways, until I retrieved him. It was like he was doing recon for his ‘Great Escape’.

One time, Garry made his move and I didn’t notice he’d slipped out. I looked and looked, asked around. I could not find him. No Garry. That night I finally went to sleep, thinking “Well Garry, you finally got what you wanted. Freedom.”

Later that night, it began to rain very hard. I was awakened not by the rain, but by a scratching sound at my bedroom window. In the silhouette of the streetlight, I see something in the window. Its the cat, standing there on the ledge. Keep in mind, I lived in a condo that was a block long, and I was in a middle unit. The cat would have had to have gone around the block, then figured out which window was mine. Maybe he knew, maybe he just got lucky – but there I was at 2am reaching out to grab this soaking wet giant cat off off the window ledge. I had a big laugh and great story to tell. I’m sure for the time being Garry was happy too.

But wandering cats never stop wandering. Later that summer, Garry made his final ‘prison break’. And this time he never came back. The neighbors didn’t see him. I searched the area for a few days, thinking maybe I’d see him come trotting down the sidewalk after his latest wanderlust trip.

It was not to be.

I never saw good ole Garry Shandling again. I only hope that maybe he took a liking to someone else and hogged all the covers in their bed instead.