In Memory of Phoenix


Dear Phoenix,

We love you so much. You were truly our furry soulmate, our heart-pet. It has been nearly two months already, and we can still hardly believe you are gone. We are so grateful we got to be your cat-parents for nearly 6 years. Clearly we came into your life at a time when you specifically needed us. Because we did everything we could to make you as happy as possible. You were very sensitive, very particular, and very demanding, so this wasn’t always easy! But we did our best. Unfortunately, we were not capable of preventing you from developing lymphoma, nor were we capable of stopping it. So Daddy and I did what we believed was best: we ended your time in your physical body in the hopes/expectation that it would end your physical pain and suffering. I’m so sorry for the last 2 months. I know they were awful, with all the doctor visits, medications, and of course your heart-wrenching episodes. It was mainly because of those—they appeared to be unpreventable—that we ended your physical existence here with us when we did. I hope it was neither too soon nor too late. If it was too late, it was only because we loved you, and wanted to keep you here with us for as long as possible. Because every minute, from the moment you “chose” us, was nothing but joy for us. We are so grateful for all the joy and love we got to experience because of you. 

I’m sorry those first few days after bringing you home from the shelter were so scary. Luckily you figured out we were safe. I will never, ever forget that moment when you first came out from under the sofa. You finally felt safe, and were back to your talkative self that you showed us at the shelter. I was worried you would be “too loud,” and you were! Your constant talking was one of the things we loved most about you. Thank you for each and every time you sought comfort by sitting/laying on us in bed or on the sofa. Just having you be on us like that was so wonderful, allowed for an exchange of pure love between us. It hurts a lot not having your physical presence here with us anymore, but again, we believed it was necessary to send you on as you were no longer able to live the happy, comfortable life you lived before your diagnosis. Perhaps your body succumbed to the cancer because of your sensitivity that also allowed you to love us as much as you did. And there was never any doubt that you loved us as much as we loved you. The way you let us know was so precious, so endearing: you’d be sitting in one of our laps, relaxed, content, and purring loudly. Then you’d look up at us, open your mouth wide, pause for dramatic effect, then emit the tiniest possible sound—the silent meow of silent meows! You never wasted an opportunity for snuggling. Snuggle time was almost always preceded by a 15-minute “bread-making” session (ouch, those claws!). But you were the sweetest, most loving cat imaginable. And often you’d finally settle in, and then start making bread again a minute later, chirping and purring. You were the absolute best companion, and your absence will be felt for the rest of our days. We are blessed to have had you for the time that we did. Thank you for every wonderful minute of your too-short life.

Thank you for the experience of being a great cat-mom to you. It is my most cherished, precious experience. Thank you for revealing to me new dimensions of my ability to love, to care, to nurture. Above all things, my ability to connect so deeply with an animal. You were my first pet ever, and you revealed so much good in me. So much pure joy. So much child-like wonder. How fortunate all three of us were, to have crossed paths. To have shared our world with each other. While your life on this earth was not nearly as long as your name suggests, we will hold out hope that you will rise from the ashes again one day.


Mommy and Daddy (Eden and Mike Hill)