By Leah Greenblatt
Updated October 12, 2007 at 05:00 PM EDT

Nothing brings a nation together like the untimely death of an icon. And when Flower, the erstwhile alpha female lead of Animal Planet’s hit show, Meerkat Manor, was dispatched by a venomous snake to that Great Prairie Mound in the Sky on Sept. 28, the tributes swiftly flooded in. Seriously — it’s like our own Princess Di, if she were a tiny, partially bipedal rodent.

But we digress. While we await the inevitable Elton John single (“Candle in the Wind ’07: Flower’s Lament”), we give you a survey of the painfully heartfelt tributes currently floating around on that greatest of equalizers, YouTube — a passing parade of wet, full-of-feeling meerkat eyes, mournful music, and genuinely stricken RIP sentiments. Below, a random sampling:

To the tune — shameless! — of Celine’s “My Heart Will Go On”:

A spare elegy accompanied by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s familiar, lovely cover of “Over the Rainbow.”

Theme song courtesy of Alan Jackson, tears courtesy of you.

So tell us, readers, now that you’ve had time to process the events of last week, what has the death of the Queen of the Kalahari meant to you? I’ve always been a little suspicious of all that narrative anthropomorphizing, but I can’t lie — it struck me. She died protecting her brood! She had so much left to give! Then again, seven years is a pretty long stretch for any animal in the wild, let alone one so preyed-upon. I mean, her enemies actually eat each other’s babies. Still, she is missed, is she not?