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To my Bruce

It's getting to be time. I know it, but I hate it. Your good times are still there. The pets, the meals, the moments when you are your old, gregarious self, all affection and character.

But then other times you tremble. You limp. You can't make the hop up onto the bed, and it hurts so much to know that we don't have much longer.

When you swaggered into our lives, skinny as a rail, one ear permanently flopped, but so friendly and ready for love, I didn't know how much you'd grow to mean to us, but I think I figured it out quickly. You were always so full of personality and ready to show love. You made me laugh. You impressed me with your spirit. You followed up through moves and transitions that would've cowed a lesser feline. You made me smile just by popping into my view every morning.

You're my majestic tiger beast, and there's no other like you.

When my girls were sick, you pasted themselves to their sides. You always know when you are needed. It's your gift, an almost supernatural ability to appear as desired.

You go through life with a quiet flair for the dramatic. You make everyone aware of your presence. You're physical presence is as big as your personality, but maybe not as big as your heart.

I'm not ready, my beautiful boy. None of us are, but we can't stop it. You're slipping from us, and there's nothing we can do. I'll never forget. I'll always be grateful, but I wish you didn't have to go. I wish it so much.

You deserved so much more time. If any pet ever deserved more time, it was you, but what we got, what you gave us, was so precious. I'll never forget. I'll always be grateful.

Thank you, Bruce. You are forever my best boy.

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