by Shannon Kyln
Bear has been in my life since I was a small child. I remember the day perfectly. It was 1999, my mother and my sister and myself were watching ‘Hercules’ on TV, and Dad opens the door and comes in with two small kittens, sisters. My sister and I were thrilled. We had cats! They were dubbed Spooky and Bear, though I childishly wanted to name them Love-heart and Love-spread.
We only had Sooky for about a year or so until she got sick. I don’t remember it very well, just that there were bloody paw prints in the bathtub and I was very sad. I learned in later years it was kidney failure, or so my parents told me.
So from then on, we had Bear. She was always there, whether in the background or playing with a bottle cap right in front of us. She’s been a tough old soul, never letting our various dogs get away with anything. I’ve had my ups and downs with her, complaining about scooping the litter box, accidentally tripping over her. But she’s been there, and it was always a comfort in some way.
I am no stranger to fur baby death. I’ve lost two dogs in the past, one to death in his sleep, the other to Grand Mal seizures. But this is different. I am sitting with her, making sure she isn’t alone as she sits on my sister’s bed, breathing laboriously and looking baffled. I know the end is near. What I hate is the waiting, the helplessness, wanting to help Bear but knowing this is something I can’t fix. This isn’t something that can be cured with medicine or doctors. And I know in the end, it will be better for her, and for us.
Maybe she’ll go today, maybe she won’t. Maybe it will be tomorrow. But it will be soon. And I pray I have the strength to pull through and handle her death with dignity.