Sometimes words come easily to me. Now, though my tears flow freely, my words do not. You see, I lost a friend this weekend. His death was sudden and completely unexpected; it left a large hole in my heart – a physical ache. His name was Phoenix, and he was a cat.
Phoenix came into my life as a foster kitten. He became a part of my family’s world when I was mourning the death of another much-loved cat. Phoenix’s antics helped ease the ache in my heart and he helped me heal. Our special bond earned him a permanent place in our home.
Phoenix loved everyone and was convinced that everyone loved him. It was quite obvious (to him at least) that any visitors to our home were there to see him. He welcomed everyone with open arms – or maybe I should say paws. As much as I loved him, he wasn’t perfect – he was sometimes a bit of a bully toward some of the other cats. But I was different – I was his mama and he adored me; the feeling was mutual. If I were sick or sad, Phoenix was there to comfort me. Until now. Now my heart is broken and my pain runs down my cheeks and he isn’t here to kiss my tears away; it makes his absence just that much more noticeable.
Those of us with pets know that they are much more than just animals – they are friends, family members, and confidants. They show us unconditional love.
This isn’t the first time that I have lost a much-loved pet, nor will it be the last. However, some – like Phoenix – have been extra special and the paw prints that they left on my heart have been just a little bigger than the others. So, while Phoenix joins those that have gone before him at the Rainbow Bridge, I struggle to adjust to the new “normal” for my life. This post, these words, are my memorial to my friend. I held him in my arms as he breathed his last, telling him how much I loved him. And now I can tell the world – or at least some small part of it – that he was here, that he was loved, and that he will be missed. Rest well, my friend.