This picture was taken about five minutes before I had to put him down. It’s in the vet’s office. He’s wrapped up in my favorite sweatshirt, that I still have and wear most days. It was pretty much the worst day of my life. A few days before, I had heard an odd sort of wheezing, and found him laying down underneath the bed, having trouble breathing. It was late, but I immediately took him to the pet emergency room. They couldn’t really do anything for him. They gave him some fluids, and me some painkillers and told me to take him home and make him comfortable. I certainly tried. I took him home and held him close, I tried to get him to eat or drink, but he wouldn’t. Not even the sushi I sent out for. He’d only drink water from a syringe. He couldn’t get up to piss. When the actual vet opened I took him in. They told me his kidneys were shutting down. There wasn’t anything they could do. He was suffering, and I should put him down. He wasn’t going to get better. I carried him into the room and wrapped him in my sweatshirt. They asked me if I wanted to be there when the slid the needle in. Of course I didn’t. I didn’t want to see that. But I had to be there. I wouldn’t let him go alone. So I stayed and I held him close. They found a vein and slid the needle in. A plume of blood flared up in the syringe, just like when I shot up. But what they slid into his vein when they pushed the plunger down was far more deadly than heroin. It took about a minute. I held him close, and I noticed his fur getting wet with tears I didn’t know were running down my face. The vet left the room to give me some privacy. She told me to take as long as I needed. He was looking up at me the whole time. His claws digging into my arm like he was holding on, like he was hugging my goodbye. I sobbed and tried to tell him it would be ok. And then…. he was just gone. One second he was there. The next he wasn’t. Those eyes that I had looked into so many times before were different. Empty. Like he wasn’t behind them anymore. And I guess he wasn’t. The weight was so different. I think that’s what I’ll remember most. His weight I had held so many goddamn times before felt so wrong. So much heavier. Limp. Dead. And it seemed like every last secret I had ever told him, all my pain, my shame, my tears that his fur had absorbed over the years, all of it came crashing back down over my shoulders all at once. I’ll never forget that moment. Eventually the vet came back and asked if I wanted to deal with the remains or have them do it. Between sobs, I told her I would take care of it. I wrapped him in my coat, and took him to the crematorium. I explained what happened, and they gave me a few more minutes alone with him. I pet him and nuzzled my face against his fur for what would be the last time. Then the kindly old man who ran it, took him away and I picked out the urn. A silver one, with pretty engravings. Not long after he handed the urn back, and it was heavier. It had what was left of him inside. His ashes, a bit of fur, and a paw print, were all that was left of my best friend. At times, my only friend. This pictured was modified by a random stranger, on /b/ of all places, who gave it the caption. I thought it was sweet.
R.I.P. Buster 1992-2009
This drink, my dearest friend, is for you. I miss you so goddamn much.