Before my step father killed himself with a drug overdose, he used to teach me manly things. One of which was that “your animal is the only true unselfish love you will get. They only want you. They ask for nothing.”
One day my cat got hit by a car when I got home from school. I was 11. Her name was “Max” because I was 6 when I picked her out. I ran inside yelling for help. She was screaming on the side of the road and I didn’t know what to do. He came out, god bless him, he tried. I was in shock and wasn’t even crying. “He could totally fix her” I thought. “He fixes everything. It’s a good thing he was home”. He picked her up, turned to me, and laid her in my arms like a baby. She quit screaming and started purring.
He explained to me that she was too broken. She was going to die. “She needs you to hold her now. Till she passes. As long as you hold her she won’t hurt. Just talk to her.” He then stepped past me. He noticed I wasn’t saying anything and I was starting to lose it, so he said “Let’s get her to the rabbit grounds,” so I instinctively started talking to Max about rabbits. We walked about 3 min before the purring stopped. She had passed.
I paused a step and panicked out a “Dad!”
He just turned “You got her, boy. That’s all she wants”. So I kept walking till we got to the hunting grounds. I dug while he watched and talked about how “you always hold your friends. Makes them forget the moment and remember yesterday. They don’t panic when you stick with them. That’s what men do, boy”. I layed her down and covered her. He asked, “everything done?” I nodded. “You can cry.”