I used to read Garfield a lot when I was a kid, but as I grew older realised the obvious: it became terribly bland after a while, recycling jokes and never straying from its basic plot. Turns out there’s a great fan/conspiracy theory explaining this: check out this amazing post which proposes that Garfield died in 1989, and every strip since is just a hallucination in the last moments of his life.
The conspiracy part of this is that a ghostwriter took over at this juncture. Jim Davis, the creator, denies it, and someone in the comments offers what is perhaps a more plausible explanation:
I think in a ham-fisted way, Jim Davis was saying in that closing panel that you can imagine a pretty vivid and screwed up future, so the “alone in the house” scenes were Garfield doing just that, then he snaps out of it.
Anyway, it reminded me of this xkcd strip, which dared Jim Davis to “go out in a blaze of dadaist glory.”
Maybe he already did.