A doctor and a technician and a kennel worker stood over her.

I was a kennel worker too but I didn’t stand over her. I stood around five feet away from her. A safe distance away from her. My face felt like cold, surgical steel. The air was navy blue. It was very still for navy blue air.

Moving through the stillness of the air, the doctor stuck the needle into one of the veins in her back right leg. She didn’t move at all when the needle entered her. Her eyes were open and they stared straight forward.

The doctor began pushing a liquid that looked like pink lemonade into her. But the liquid wasn’t pink lemonade. The liquid was something else. Something totally different from pink lemonade.

She still didn’t move.

The doctor pushed all of the pink lemonade-looking liquid into her body. Then the doctor’s and the technician’s mouths began moving but I didn’t want their mouths to be moving and I found myself wanting to hurt them the more their mouths moved even though no sound was coming outta their mouths. Then everyone’s mouths stopped moving altogether when the doctor took the needle outta her leg.

She still didn’t move when the needle left her. And neither did the navy blue air.

Her eyes were open but her face was somewhere far away. Then she coughed twice. Her cough was really wet and came from another century. But not a century from the future. A century that had already passed. A century that was making a reappearance here in the 21st century.

All of a sudden I heard the doctor say something along the lines of, “Yeah… that’s normal…” in regards to her coughing twice. And then, “But you know she’s gone though, right?”

The technician said, “Yeah…” but the lonely word she spoke sounded like it was asleep and dreaming.

The kennel worker didn’t speak at all though. Her mouth never moved. I always liked her and thought she was cool but right there, in that moment, I liked her more than ever and thought she was cooler than ever and all simply because of how little her mouth moved during the whole process.

I left the room and went into the bathroom and cried for a few minutes. When I got out, people looked at me and I could tell from the way they looked at me that they knew I had been crying but I didn’t care.

For the next hour I was at the clinic I was kinda quiet and just kept to myself. I swept floors and changed garbages and helped with an x-ray or two but I did all of those things very quietly and made very minimal eye contact with everyone.

After work, I stopped at a gas station to buy a drink and fill up my car.

I went to where they kept the refrigerated beverages to grab a Lo-Carb Monster Energy Drink but the first thing I saw was pink lemonade. Seeing the pink lemonade made me feel really sad but I pretended it didn’t make me really sad even though it definitely did.

I grabbed my energy drink and walked up to the counter. The guy behind the register had the skin color of vanilla ice cream and I wanted to lean over the counter and softly press my forehead into his and then listen to him purr but I didn’t do that because I knew he wouldn’t have purred.

As I paid for the drink, the guy working behind the register stared at me funny. Like he didn’t trust me. Like he thought I was some delinquent just because I had a lip ring and a shaved head and a beard and tattoos. Like he was waiting for me to rob him or something.

I didn’t rob him.

I just paid for my drink and gas and filled up my car and drove home.

When I got home, two outta my three cats got up to greet me and say, “Welcome home.”

I picked up the one who didn’t get up to greet me and kissed her in between her eyes.

She began purring.

Her purr came in loud and clear from the 21st century.