Affection in Garfield is an aggressive emotion, its most frequent expressions normally portrayed as unwelcome and overbearing. In its most common manifestations, we see Jon's desperation for love from Liz, and companionship and respect from Garfield, Odie's indiscriminate attacks of physical ardor, Nermal's narcissistic longing for praise and attention. This is not to say it is a negative, or destructive impulse, just that the infrequency of characters exhibiting reciprocity to caring and understanding give affection a specific power and commodity in the world as Garfield sees it. The means by which Garfield copes with this shortage is to channel desire into aesthetic passion for food, sleep, TV, flowers, etc., which he variously decimates or overindulges and exhausts the love-object. This is less self-delusory than an act of self-deprivation; in the interest of sustaining control over his surroundings and self, Garfield eliminates from his nature those desires which cannot be reliably self-fulfilled. In effort to maintain his Cool, love takes a backseat.
So when faced with warning that his tactics for moving through the world emotionally unscathed may be undermined by force, Garfield panics, and casts his normally cooling, penetrative gaze about in comic impotence. Love comes crashing, blundering in sudden and huge, but unstoppable even with forewarning. Garfield finds himself pressed face-first into a heart that mirrors his own technique of avoiding communication by taking what he wants by force; his eyeballs smushed the unavoidable reality of love's existence. You may be scared, but can't deny it, when it its clutch.