Love Never Dies
by Tina Marie Bebry
Rest in peace, little angel
My name is Tina. I recently turned twenty. I'm a complicated person with very complicated problems and difficult hardships. These past few years have been exceptionally rough for me, but luckily, I had my precious little angel to help me through my struggles. Nutmeg; my perfect little baby... The love of my life. My jewel. My guardian angel. Until three days ago, Nutmeg was my (approximately) ten-year-old cat. She was the sweetest, most accepting animal companion ever imaginable- so forgiving, compassionate, and loving. She was a gentle creature of love who gave me hope, even in my darkest times- even as I contemplated my own death.
I suffer from Chronic Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Whenever I fled outside my house to cry in the dark, I found Nutmeg standing by my side- watching, waiting, protecting. It's inexplicable to those who haven't experienced it, but we loved each other more than anyone could ever possibly imagine. No matter what I went through, she was always there for me- in the pouring rain, the freezing cold, the wind, the heat- she was there by my side or on my lap to comfort me for hours. We used to lay together on a lounge chair in the afternoon, staring up at the sky until the stars pierced though the darkness. It didn't matter how cold it was. Oftentimes it was far below freezing- but it didn't matter because we kept each other warm as we cuddled and held on. She even used to follow me around the outside of my house wherever I went. One time she even walked down the block to comfort me where I sat crying- she left her territory for me.
Some people will never understand what we had. They just don't get that animals are more than just pets- they are companions, friends, and most of all, they are family.
October 26th, 2013. My parents and I rushed Nutmeg to the animal hospital after weeks of intensive treatment and several visits to the vet. She was breathing heavily and whimpering which each struggling gasp. My baby girl was dying and I didn't even know it; the one I cuddled with in bed with her arms around mine and her head under my chin. My perfect little angel... After what felt like hours of talking with the doctors and waiting for test results, they dropped the bomb we all knew in our hearts was coming. "Every possible disease she may have does NOT have a good prognosis." "But is there any hope at all? ANYTHING? Even a SHRED of hope?" "The chances of there being no hope is extremely high." My heart sank with these words as they hit me. I could barely breathe. My brother came and we all talked it over after we heard what we had to hear from the doctors. It would have been cruel to put her through any more invasive testing and waiting. She was near death, opening her mouth and gasping for each breath-that even in the oxygen tank cage she was in. I was so sick from the news I went outside and thew up in the parking lot.
We got to say our choked-up goodbyes to her in a special room. I held her as she took her last pained breath and her body went limp and calm. As she left me, I bawled and shook and told her, "I love you so much. I love you so much! I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry... My little baby... I love you so, so much... Goodbye, Nutmeg... I love you....." Even as I write this I am finding myself with tears coming from my weary eyes. I lost my best friend- my sister- my baby girl- my perfect little guardian angel- my love; but worst of all, I lost part of myself.
Even as I shoved pills down her throat and force-fed her when she refused to eat, she still loved me and forgave me. After all of the nebulizer treatments and gross-smelling nutrition gel and after all of the shots and tests, she never held it against me. In fact, I think she knew I was trying to help her as I wiped the food from her fur (and myself and the floor). She may not have understood why, but she knew. Not once has Nutmeg ever raised a paw at me, growled, hissed, or bitten me. Even after all the pain and confusion... She was there. I had her love and her trust and she had mine; and now that she's gone, I just don't know what to do. However, I DO know that I will be starting a charity for people with ill pets who cannot afford things like surgery, medicine, euthanasia, cremation, etcetera. I will never, ever let her memory or my love for her die. Everyone shall know her name and who and what she was- what she still is in my heart and the hearts of my family. We will never be the same without you, Nutmeg. Without our perfect little angel, we just don't know what to do. Thank you, you beautiful, loving being of light, for all of the things you brought us: the happiness, the joy, the hope, the companionship, the laughter, the love. Thank you for it all. You saved me with your love. You brought our broken family together. You will NEVER be forgotten.
May you rest in peace with Jesus' arms forever and ever. Amen.