May 5, 2012 – August 13, 2018.
After a very good Friday and a couple of not-great days over the weekend, yesterday was an awful day for Stefan. It was clear to us both that it was time to let him go.
As he slipped free, I told him what a good boy he’d been these past five years. I thanked him for coming to us and for being such a good uncle to so many foster kittens. I told him I was sorry he wouldn’t be with us for years to come to help teach kittens their manners.
I told him how very much we’re going to miss him.
This post is my tribute to him.
Stefan came to us in early January 2013. He showed up at the feeding station in the middle of the night (caught by the game cam) and then started showing up during the day. Once he started showing up during the day, he was nearly always around. It took some work on Fred’s part (and lots of canned food), but Stefan decided we were trustworthy and became ours.
The vet thought he was 1 or 2 years old. Fred was pretty sure he was related to (possibly even from the same litter as) our foster kitten Stompers, and so I assigned him the same date of birth.
Once Stefan decided he could trust us, he was all in. It wasn’t long before he was coming inside, and not long after that that he realized we had kittens for him to play with and kitten food for him to eat.
He was the most laid-back, relaxed, calmest cat I’ve ever seen. He loved the fosters (and loved their food), and though he might have occasionally gotten over-excited while playing with them, he was the best uncle a kitten could ask for.
I said jokingly recently that Stefan was never a high-energy cat, and it’s true. That boy loved to eat, sleep and be brushed, and that comprised the majority of his existence.
I mean, don’t get me wrong – when he was awake, that boy could get around when he wanted to. You never knew where you’d find him or what you’d find him doing.
Have I mentioned that he was a very laid-back cat? He was so laid-back and so trusting of us that we could do nearly anything to him that we wanted.
When we moved from Crooked Acres to Shady Cove, we worried about how the cats would handle it. Stefan was a little nervous at first, but as was his nature, he adapted quickly and as long as there were places to nap and love from his humans, he was fine. He LOVED hanging out in the back yard, and often brought chipmunks and birds into the house to show us his gratitude. For such a laid-back gentle boy, he was an excellent hunter (remember all the bunnies he brought into the house at Crooked Acres, not to mention the snake?)
At only 6 1/2 years old (or thereabouts), we weren’t ready for him to leave us so soon. I’m grateful that we had this past few weeks to shower him with love. He was himself right up until the end, our sweet, gentle teddy bear. I’m going to miss seeing him snoozing in his favorite spots, his blinkety-blink Eyes of Lurve, having him sleep next to me (when he felt like it), and the hopeful way he’d walk into the kitchen when I was opening cans of food for the kittens, wondering if I’d give him a can to lick (I always gave him a can to lick.) He was the best and sweetest, and I can’t believe he’s gone.
Goodbye, sweet boy. We are going to miss you so very much.
Stefan was a Challenger’s House cat for about 10 minutes, I think (until we came to our senses – I don’t think he was ever actually in the CHI “system.”) We had him vetted and neutered at the Challenger’s House vet, so if you’d like to make a donation in his honor, that would be wonderful and much appreciated.
They accept donations by mail (check or money order), or credit cards via Paypal – their Paypal address is challengershouse (at) mchsi.com.
112 Tristian Rd.
Toney, AL 35773
2017: Chip would like y’all to know that he is, indeed, still da BAYbee, and we will be getting video to prove that.
2016: #Spruce, greeting #UncleStefan. If you’re looking for a kitten who loves other cats, Spruce is your mancat!
2015: “HELLO HI INNERNETS, I HAS A BANDAGE ON MY LEG AND YOU MUST FEEL SORRY FOR ME. I’M DA BAYBEE!”
2014: Orlando and those expressive ears.
2013: The Floofening.
2012: I would give my kingdom for a solid poop from any of those kittens!
2011: Do you remember Starsky and Hutch?
2010: No entry.
2009: So, that’s what’s going on with these kittens and their eyes.
2008: Kara lets her Southern roots shine through.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.