“I love cats, because I love my home;
And little by little, they become its visible soul.”

Jean Cocteau

Louie in his palletsWe’ve just lost our lovable Louie, and immense sadness fills our home today.  And as I look back this morning, it’s very hard to believe that I first met Louie by chance, almost twelve years ago in a factory parking lot.  As I made a U-turn there, I happened to spot his furry little face peeking out at me from a pile of old wooden pallets at the edge of the lot.

I stopped my car and I gave him some food and water, and this homeless feline quickly endeared himself to me.  Now, I would visit him there just about every day; he very quickly learned the sound of my car’s engine; and now, he would excitedly rush out of his Pallet Palace to greet me whenever I arrived.

As the cold days of winter approached, I reinforced Louie’s pallet shelter and I shoved tons of straw and blankets into it to keep him warm and dry.  And now, each time that I arrived, he would rush out of it purring like a freight train and immediately wrap himself around my legs.  I was really starting to think that I should take him home.

One frigid morning when I arrived to visit Louie, I horrendously found that someone had hauled away his pallet shelter, and Louie was nowhere to be found.  As I stood there sadly wondering where he had gone, I soon spotted him way off in the distance, excitedly running across the parking lot to greet me.  And now, he really looked cold and lonely, so I picked him up, put him in my car, and drove him to the animal hospital.

Soon, my vet gave me some bad news – “Louie is FIV Positive; he can give this disease to your other cats if he bites them; and I recommend that we put him to sleep.”  I looked at the vet, said ‘No Way’ and I brought Louie home.  I already knew that Louie was a lover, not a fighter.

Louie and PupsAnd very quickly, Lovable Louie endeared himself to Rebecca, to our other cats, and even to many of our dogs.   Our Chihuahua pups were especially fond of him, and they were soon kissing him, playing with him, and following him all around our yard – he very quickly became their ‘Uncle Louie.’  Our remarkable and extremely protective cattle dog Turbo also quickly took a liking to Louie, and the two of them would now even nap together out in our yard.

Louie’s very best friend however was Monty, our dear old diabetic cat, and when Monty passed away several years ago, poor Louie grieved for his feline friend for a very long time.

Louie was also a constant talker, and he and I would have many lively conversations while he happily snuggled on my lap.  His responses to what I would say to him often sounded to me like “Yeah!” or “Wow!” And talkative Louie also loved to eat.  Whenever he wanted to be fed, he would cry out what sounded to us like “Ma! Ma!” So I soon began imitating Louie and yelling out:  “Ma! Ma!” whenever I wanted to eat.  And now, Rebecca would chuckle whenever she heard Louie or I telling her that we were hungry.

About a year ago, our Lovable Louie began losing a lot of weight, even though he was always eating.  When I took him to Pulaski Animal Hospital, they ran numerous tests and very sadly told me that in addition to his FIV condition, Louie now had a very severe thyroid problem.

For the past year, Louie had been taking daily thyroid medications, but this disease was relentless, as most feline diseases are, and our lovable Louie finally lost his battle with it.

After nearly twelve years of Lovable Louie’s wonderful company, our home is filled with great sadness today, and it will be for some time to come.  Louie’s ashes will now reside on our mantle, next to the ashes of his best friend Monty, and so many other wonderful felines that we have been privileged to know, and to love, and to live with, over the years.

“We love cats, because we love our home;

And little by little, they become its visible soul.”

Ed Kostro

For more of Ed's stories and poems, please click here:


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Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.


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