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  2003 Philadelphia Flower Show: “Chester’s Wake”

2nd Place, Miniature Settings
Theme: "Celebrations"

Intent: "He showed up hungry one morning. The next day he brought friends! Here we celebrate nine lives well lived, an old soul's new journey. The Breakfast Club has long since departed. But their spirits will forever play in the Cat Lady's enchanted gardens, at the "Chicken Coop" in Arden, Delaware."

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Not for sale

Chester's brick in the Moonlight Theater Stage at the Arden Gild Hall

Chester showed up hungry the morning I moved in to the "Chicken Coop" cottage on Inn Lane in Arden, Delaware. Then he started bringing his friends. At one point, the "breakfast club" had about 15 members. Arden was my sanctuary from the "real world," and my little feline friends were more than just cats--they were the Fey folk of Arden, the Little People.

The breakfast club is long since gone, and Chester passed away at the ripe old age of "damn near twenty" (as recalled by my former neighbor who knew him as a kitten) in 1998. He was one of those "neighborhood" cats, known by many in Arden. He has a memorial brick in the Moonlight Theater stage at the Arden Gild Hall, and his eulogy was printed in the Arden Page newsletter.

Chester's Wake is a celebration of that enchanted village known as Arden, and all the cats that grace our lives with their brilliant souls. It's about reaching that point when you can remember a loved one who's passed on, or a special place you had to leave, with a smile instead of tears.

The real "Coop" in Arden

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