I knew it was time. She was cuddled up on my pillow, basking under the glinting sun, the smell of laundry detergent and early summer blowing through the open window, wrapping itself around us. I reached out to pet her head, my unsteady hand knocking down several brands of cat food that were cracked open and left untouched. She blinked her hollow eyes, before rubbing her bony head against my open palm, then the crook of my neck, her dry nose running up and down my jaw. I sat down and stroked her gently, her fur glistening with my tears and sorrow, like winter frost on grass. I knew what I had to do, what was right. But her eyes, they still shimmered, infinite starlight held within those endless green worlds, so alive and pure, making me doubt myself all over again. We lay down for a moment, her shaky heartbeat resting on top of mine, completely weightless.  

After our last nap together, I took a steady breath and reached towards my phone, the screen light seeping into the darkening room. Hand hovering over the call button, I leaned into her, breathing in her sweet, thick fur, and all I felt was her pain, so immense it filled every crack in the room, swallowing me whole. Those eyes, full of starlight, kitten play, cuddles, and way too many treats stared up at me, calm and reassuring, yet wanting and desperate. I pressed the button, swallowing the tears that raced up my throat and threatened to explode from my shattering body.

 I will never forget those eyes, how they could be filled with so much agony and peace, life and death. Those eyes may never open, never look at me again, but at least I know they have finally joined the stars where they belong,

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
7 months ago

Hello Amelia! I just read this story – twice – and I can’t stop crying. There is so much love in your writing, so much grief, so much beauty. I am blown away by you high school writers. We older folk have much to learn from you.

Chris
Chris(@chris)
7 months ago

A beautiful touching story relating the joys and sorrows of life and death. As we all experience our own joys and sorrows, will we become wounded, or become wise?

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
7 months ago

Amelia such wonderful atmospheric writing. I love your repetitions of “starlight” and the words “endless green worlds.” So devastating to lose a loved pet.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago

Hello Amelia. I can’t help my tears from falling. It is such a heartbreaking story. It is so hurtful to lose a loved one, either people or a pet.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
7 months ago

This is such a sad story Amelia but the love your protagonist has for their cat shines through as bright as the starlight in their cat’s eyes. A really emotional read.

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Sandra OReilly
Sandra OReilly(@sandra-oreilly)
7 months ago

Hi Amelia I read your story with tears in my eyes as I too have had to make that agonising phone call and it hurts so much. Such a beautiful piece, well written.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

It’s a very emotional story, Amelia, and told in such a way that as a reader you understand and share your protagonist’s sadness. Her pain and love for her pet become very real and go deep. You have some wonderful descriptions of the cat’s eyes and fur.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
6 months ago

My heart goes out to your protagonist, Amelia. Is your story based on a real life event, like my ‘Soulmate’ story in the 100 word competition? It certainly comes across as very heartfelt, as though you have been through a similar situation despite your young age. Beautifully written.

Heather C
Heather C(@heather-c)
6 months ago

“Eyes that joined the stars where they belong”…seriously this was a stunning piece of writing. I felt your pain. Beautiful piece of work. I also wrote about my special pet for this contest. It seems there are many animal lovers in this group who have big souls and tender hearts. Looking forward to reading more of your writing.

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