I hesitated to submit this story because it might be considered at the very least to woefully morose as compared with the other submissions. In these last hours of the contest I have given in to the urge to share my story hoping that it will not be distressing to anyone.
It was in the summer of my eighth year. At the beginning of the holidays my girlfriend's elegant tabby had a batch of kittens. After much pleading I was permitted after the requisite time had passed to bring home one magnificent orange coloured male. I named him Puff!...a indignity that he bore stoically.
We spent the rest of the summer and on into fall discovering the joys of growing up ... although he seemed to catch on to the ways of the world faster than I.
To that point I can honestly say that I had no experience with death whatsoever. So in the cool dust of late October when our neighbour came to the door to tell my parents that Puff had been killed on the road I was totally unprepared.
I was inconsolable...at first anyway.
My dad gathered me into his arms and took me to the La-Z-Boy recliner that was "his" place to relax and read.
He nested me on his chest and held me,whispering occasional soothing words until there was not a tear left in me to shed.
I learned a lot about love in those hours...which admittedly I could only vaguely comprehend at the time.
In the intervening forty-eight years the loss has dimmed but what has remained with an amazing clarity if the comfort i felt there in that chair safe in my father's arms.