Flora in bloom

Flora in bloom

Tiny Flora moments after her arrival at Tabby's PlaceBetween Bellis, Dean, Pirate, Sam and Waffle, we’ve had quite the parade of zero- and one-eyed cats this year.

The latest optically-impaired angel to stroll onto the scene is quite the little wonder. Friends, I introduce you to tiny Flora.

Flora today, feeling much better and stronger!Our little flower was found by a kind-hearted older farmer, who was worried when he saw how emaciated she was, and how “not-right” her eyes seemed. He was surprised and quite thankful when he found out that such an “imperfect” kitten could, through a series of events, make her way to Tabby’s Place. I trust that, when he took a gander at the cast of characters in our lobby (sometimes known as the Island of Misfit Toys), he realized the beautifully imperfect Flora would be in excellent company.

Despite being grievously underweight and the snack of chewing lice, Flora was a wee firecracker from her first moments at Tabby’s Place, giving the farmer and Denise each a good nip with her teensy teeth. But as soon as the little one settled in with her adoring foster mama, Kelly (one of my personal heroes for her patience with cats good, “bad” and wacky), she became the love-bug I had a feeling she’d be from the moment I laid eyes on her.

Our beautiful little flower, FloraAlthough, as you can see, Flora’s eyes look quite worse for wear, she is able to see us with one of them. While the left eye appears to have been ruptured some time ago, and will need to be removed, Flora’s right eye is doing a fine job of letting her find the food, loving arms and endless world of playthings she seeks. It’s a bit too soon to say whether this remaining eye will have some long-term scarring or if that will improve as she grows, but our vet expects that Flora’s vision will be at least as good as that of Pirate, and likely far better. It’s a joy to see that, as Flora puts on much-needed weight, her eye looks progressively healthier and less sunken.

As our little girl blooms, a few friends have asked about her name. When it comes to kittens, we sometimes take turns naming them at Tabby’s Place, but more often than not it becomes a free-for-all, with the whole staff calling out possibilities while cooing at the new addition. (Actual recent example: “Cheerio?” “Cheerio sounds like a girl.” “How about Oatmeal?” “I like Cheerio better than Oatmeal.” “I love Oatmeal?” “How about Maypo? Anyone remember the Maypo commercial? Maypo is a great name.” “Umm…how about Cheerio?” “Waffle?” “WAFFLE!!! That’s it!”)

Flora gazing at (and being gazed at by) her awesome foster mom, KellyI actually had the honor of being the one to call out “Flora” a few minutes after meeting our spunky little survivor, and I’m grateful it was a unanimous hit. She is named after one of the wisest and loveliest ladies I ever met. The human Flora was a dear friend at my old church. She was about 80 years old, 4’9″ tall and from the Caribbean, and had lived a hard life with much pain, physically and otherwise. Yet she was consistently one of the most joyful human beings I have ever had the blessing to know. Nobody sang with more joy or rejoiced from a deeper place in the heart than Flora the human bean. I want to be like her when I grow up! I want Flora the cat to live a life of such unsinkable joy.

With the amazing Kelly as her loving foster mama, a flock of adoring fans, and that huge spirit in her tiny body, our little flower is off to a very strong start.

8 thoughts on “Flora in bloom

  1. God bless Flora and Kelly! This little cat hit the jackpot at Tabby’s Place and I’m sure all of us “bloggers” look forward to seeing her progress as we watch her grow and thrive!

  2. The eyes of love. Love at first sight. The wonder of love. These are some of the words we use to try to describe the wonder of what we call love. Great minds have tried to explain love, and failed. With our limited knowledge, what we cannot put into words is replaced by attempting to explain the effects of love. True: Love can change the world. True: Love brings out the best in us. But this only explains the effect. The best we can do is attempt to describe what we can share.

    God is Love. As we are not able to understand the mystery that is God we also cannot explain the mystery that is love. Sending flowers is one way to show that reality. Jesus having proved His Love, still provides reminders of that Love. When I see kitties like our little Flora I see the wonder of His gift. I don’t know why I am so lucky, or why she has me wrapped around her little finger (paws), I guess that is also a reality.

    1. Larry – you said a mouthful, let’s just thank God for giving us the ability to love and be loved, it is truly a priceless gift, and one to be eternally grateful for.

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