In Loving Memory of My Little Flower

By Ed Kostro

Living is not must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
Hans Christian Andersen

I used to love this quote; it's been my inspiration for many a nature trek that I have taken over the years; and it was about to be my inspiration for the nature trek that I was about to embark on.  But instead, it is now filling me with utter sadness, and tears are now welling up in my eyes as I pen this, since I just lost my Little Flower.

Katrina FlowerI first met her at one of the many pet rescue camps set up down on America’s Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. She was one of 300 rescued cats being temporarily housed in an old wooden shed. Their tiny cages were now stacked row upon row in this shed, and their tiny cages were stacked from floor to ceiling. And every time that I walked down her row, Flower would thrust her furry front paw out of her tiny cage, grab my arm, and look me in the eyes as if to say: "Please Get Me Out of Here!" And every time that the woman in charge of caring for these 300 rescued cats saw Flower doing this, she would look at me and say: "She has chosen you to be her new guardian; you have to take her home." And so I did.

And My Little Flower has truly brightened my life, each and every day, for the last 12 years. She moved three times with me, and although she liked each of our homes, she truly loved our new home in the country. My spouse and I often joked that this was really 'Flower's Place.'  She also loved cardboard boxes, of all shapes and sizes.  And our new home was soon filled with ‘Flower Boxes’ in every room.

Flower in her boxFlower would eagerly jump out of bed each morning, and then very diligently inspect every room in our new home to make sure that everything was ok, and that all of our pets were ok. Then she would jump up on the curio cabinet in our living room in front of the huge birdfeeder there to watch the many birds and squirrels visiting it. Then she would join me for breakfast; then she would sit right next to me at my computer; then she would curl up in my lap on my recliner in the evenings and look me in the eyes as if to say: "Thanks for rescuing me."

Flower was also our official New Pet Greeter. Whenever I would bring home another former street orphan, whether dog or cat, she would happily greet them and show them all around. But she would also very sternly let them know that she was in charge. She also liked to slap my Beasty Boys on their noses whenever they got out of line; and all of our dogs respected my Little Flower.  My two oldest dogs, Blanca and Turbo, really loved My Little Flower because she watched over them in their old age.

My Little Flower also often talked to me when she meowed, and whenever she was in a distant part of the house and she wanted my attention, I would suddenly hear her meowing out to me: "Hello! Hello!" And I would laugh and I would shout back: "Hello, Flower! I'll be right there!"

Flower, Blanca and GuerroSeveral days ago, my Little Flower suddenly collapsed at my feet. My spouse and I rushed her to the nearest Emergency Animal Hospital, where they broke our hearts when they told us that Flower was now suffering from complete renal failure, and that there was no hope for her. And soon, my Little Flower was gone, just like that. I have often thought that cats hide their illnesses from we frail human beings to spare us from worrying about them, and I know that is exactly what my Little Flower did for me.

And as I sit here writing this, I still can't believe that she is now gone. I would give anything in the world right now to once again hear her somewhere in the house loudly and happily meowing out to me: "Hello! Hello!" But I am slowly and painfully coming to the realization that I won't hear My Little Flower anymore.

My little FlowerOur new home is now filled with complete and utter sadness, and all of our other furry family members now very sadly wonder where Flower is. Her best friend and feline soul mate Jesse James is still sadly searching the entire house for her.  My Little Flower's ashes now reside on our mantelpiece, next to the urns of 14 other precious furry family members that my spouse and I have so very sadly lost since we've been married.  And 2017 has been especially hard on us; since the beginning of the year, we have now lost two precious dogs, Blanca and Turbo, and two precious cats, Patty and Flower.

Every pet loss fills my heart and soul with utter sadness, but My Little Flower's sudden passing has left me both in shock and in tears, and almost to the point of immobility. And our new home in the country - 'Flower's Place' - doesn't feel nearly as good a place to be as it did just several days ago.  My Little Flower will remain in my heart, and in my soul, forever.

Life is more than just must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.


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Roseanne Anderson

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