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Random Thoughts: Paying Tribute


A moment of reflection.

Editor's Note: This is not market related content; we'll be back with nuts and guts financial stuff right after some words about a special cat.

It's not like me to suddenly disappear in the middle of a session with nary a mention on the Buzz & Banter; I've been doing this "trading-writing" thing for over a decade and I understand the importance of transparency, accountability, and communication.

In full disclosure, my absence yesterday wasn't planned. The evening before, while administering an IV drip to my 15.5 year-old feline Phoebe, she made her feelings clear about "assisted living." She bit through and punctured my right hand, causing a rather nasty infection that I later learned was serious.

After some doctors and antibiotics, I knew what needed to be done. Our veterinarian came to our apartment to find me brushing Phoebe in her favorite spot in the sun; my eyes were already swollen. I picked her up and held her in my arms as the first needle was injected. Her patented lawnmower purr never stopped as we looked into each other's eyes. She slowly fell asleep, and I handed her back to the doctor. I didn't need to see the final, lethal injection.

Old School Minyans might remember back to 2008, when Zöe passed. Since that time, Phoebe -- widely known as the The Grande Dame for her regal demeanor -- has seen her fair share of many things and more than a few cats.

There's Crash, who needs no introduction in these parts (he nailed another 11% with his latest "signal").

There was Blue, who was too curious for his own good, and Petty, who turned a dark hole into a forward path, Through it all -- since the time I was a young 25-year old trader at Morgan Stanley -- Phoebe has been the stalwart, the Queen, my first wife.

The IV drips and other special needs were selfish on my part; it's what I wanted. The humane thing to do -- and what we did -- was let her leave the party of life while she was still "having a good time." I turned to Jamie last week and said, "She's going to die; we need to get the kids ready." I just knew; anyone who shares a unique bond with another living creature knows exactly what I'm talking about.

I understand that humility and compassion are viewed as weaknesses by some, particularly on Wall Street given the current social mood. And I'm sure a few of you are sitting there thinking, "WTF?"

Here's the bottom line: We follow markets and trade financial instruments to make cake and get ahead. Through it all, however, there's this thing called "Life" and we can't ignore the passions or pains. It's part of what makes us tick. It's part of who we are.

I'll circle back on the Buzz with some market thoughts -- most of my current vibes can be found here, including a vibe that spied the potential for an upside surprise on Tuesday -- so lemme flip lids and move forward with great memories and profound appreciation.

As always, I hope this finds you well.

Phoebe Harrison 1996-2011


Twitter: @todd_harrison

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