The Passing

Fluorescent lights glare down upon the paper, emphasizing the austerity of time and place. Her wheezing increases and I bend over to comfort her. Yellow mucus trickles from her pale pink nose, her eyes fixed, staring.  Tabby fur, silky, brushes against my cheek as I whisper, “It’s okay, Lacey J.”   The attendant softly explains the process and points to a signature line on the form.   Memories of twelve years—so few, so fast—flash through my mind, and I silently rail against it ending like this.  Here, in a sterile room glistening with stainless steel and porcelain, a poster of a dog straddling a kitten cannot lighten the moment, or lessen our pain.  I rub the shaven square on her scrawny leg.  The attendant hands me his pen and waits.  Lacey heaves, her rib cage brutally expanding and contracting.  And still those eyes, once radiant with intelligence, now dull, clouded.  I realize her essence left some time ago.   I stroke her small body one last time, then sign the paper.

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