I killed my cat four years ago. I talked about it willingly; he had an arterial thromboembolism, he would have lived the rest of his days in crippled agony, and I put him down. He was my favorite cat; he was long and muscular, graceful and goofy simultaneously, and perpetually gentle in the way that goodness always is. I wrote and spoke of these things immediately and, for a while, frequently. I wrote that the grief was awful and too specific for justification. I told friends that the horror of what I’d done faded more quickly than I’d thought it would.
But I never wrote or spoke of the act. I never told anyone how the choice, to kill my cat, was so complete and so deliberate, it made my fingers thicker, my chest prouder, and my eyes a tragic monstrosity of unmerciful brutishness. I never wrote that my arms were feather light stones while I held him, as he died. I never wrote that my voice didn’t break when I said I loved him and thought he was beautiful. I never mentioned my scream as he slipped away, never addressed the tear it made in my soul as I did what I was going to do. I didn’t describe how immediately my deliberation ran away, and left my shoulders withered and quaking, never whispered that the grief is still there and visits me unsolicited, in a dirty, damp, alley, behind the quiet light of my heart’s forgiveness.
I never said those things, so I’m saying them now. Because when next I’m visited by my serial sadist, I want to look it in the face and tell it that I know.