Harsh Truth This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Iheld her fragile body in my arms while tears streamed down my face. She hadn'teaten for the past week, and had become so light that the gentlest wind couldhave swept her away. Her chest rose and fell heavily, as if weights had beenplaced on her rib cage. I spoke to her softly through sobs, asking her to forgiveme for what I was about to do. She lifted her head at the sound of her name, andher eyes met mine. They looked just like my gramp's had before he died - sotired. Her trust in me shone through in that one look.

I knew I was theonly one she had ever let hold her like this. It seemed the ultimate betrayal toput her into the arms of a man who could not possibly realize the full impactthat taking her life would have.

I told her how sorry I was one lasttime, and then placed her, so gently, into the arms of that stranger. Her smallcries of confusion made me shiver. I tried to explain to her that all I wantedwas to make her pain go away, and it was not because I didn't want her anymore. Iwatched as the life left her eyes, and a part of me went, too.

I can'texplain how deeply I was affected by this experience. When I think of friends whohave lost mothers and fathers, I am almost ashamed that I am so upset.

This cat, though, was not just a pet, she was a member of my family for17 years. I got her when I was six months old and named her "KiKi" inan attempt to call her kitty. She seemed to always find me when I was sad, andher purring made the pain disappear.

There is not a moment I can rememberwhen she hasn't been in my life - until now, and it is a strange and hollowfeeling. The experience has made me understand the hardest truth I can everimagine learning: we will all die. Death will show its face to all livingcreatures, it yields to neither race nor gender. In this respect, death is theultimate unifier because we are all alike in its eyes.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 7:29 am
i love this so much!
staycool said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm
I understand what you went through A couple of year ago I had a dog who was inbred and had seizures. During those seizures she wasn't herself and she attacked my mom. After that we knew we had to put her down. She was and amazing dog and very protective. Her name was Ko-Ko and she listened to us and was always there for you if you were crying or hurt. One time I was riding on the trails and my brother flipped on his bike and was really hurt and Ko-Ko could sense that and she bolted down the trai... (more »)
SmileStrong said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 9:19 am
I lost my only dog, Templeton, two years ago.  I cannot remember a time before I had him.  As far as I am concerned, he has always been in my life.  My family had to put him down, because he had tumors and was in unbearable pain.  We could not let him suffer.  It hurts more than anything to lose a member of your family.  It's a truly elegant piece.  
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