8-14-18 Stefan

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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.

Hanging out in the side yard with Maxi. He was such a string bean!

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.

Hanging out with Norbie.

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.

Challenger’s House
112 Tristian Rd.
Toney, AL 35773

Phone: 256-420-5995


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!
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.



8-14-18 Stefan — 67 Comments

    • Yes, he was a Challenger’s House cat for about 10 minutes, so a donation in his memory there would be very much appreciated.

      They accept donations by mail (check or money order), or via Paypal – their Paypal address is challengershouse (at) mchsi.com

      Challenger’s House
      112 Tristian Rd.
      Toney, AL 35773

      Phone: 256-420-5995

      (And thank you for asking; I’ve edited the post to include that information.)

  1. A beautiful tribute to sweet Stephan Robyn. So heartbroken that he left you and Fred so soon. You gave him the best life any cat could have hoped for. Rest in peace sweet, sweet Stephan. He will be missed by all of us.

  2. I could not believe it when I saw it on FB. 6.5 is waaaaay too young. This made me cry for him, you and my Lola you crossed over at 6 due to cancer. I don’t think I will ever heal from that. What a beautiful tribute. Through the sadness, I smiled at his pictures, especially the one of him on the tiny fancy bed. There are no words to express how truly sorry I am. Too many too close together for the heart to handle. Much love and hugs going out to you and Fred. R.I.P. Stefan. Find Lola if you can…you will really like her.

  3. Goodbye sweet Stefan…I’ll miss your sleepy face in the cute hats! Sending love and peace to you and Fred.

  4. Oh Stefan – we will always love you and always miss you. Such a good, sweet, best boy. Fred and Robyn what a wonderful happy life you gave him. Thank you

  5. What a lovely tribute to the best orj teddy bear of a cat there ever was. I love that he was such a good uncle and that he trusted you so much. I will never forget this special boy… and his sweet face under those awesome, silly hats! So glad he showed up at Crooked Acres, but so sad he had to leave you too soon.

    Goodbye, Stefan love.

  6. This is an amazing tribute to a wonderful ornj boy. The love you and Fred felt for him came out in every post and even if his life was way too short, he decided it was best spent with you. Thank you for rewarding his trust with the best life ever.

  7. 6.5 is way too soon, but I know he had the best of life and the best of care from you. Thinking of you and Fred.

  8. such a beautiful tribute – I agree 6 yrs old is too young. I remember when he came along and thank you for looking after him (… and all the others) he returned in kind. a lovely boy

  9. He was such a pretty bpy. And i loved his laid back tude! My kind of cat! Lol im so sorry for your loss. *hugs* may i ask what was wrong with him?

  10. Robyn & Fred – I’m so very sorry for your loss. Stephan was one of a kind, and the best uncle ever. I’m just so glad he found you and the good life. His life was way too short, but once he found Crooked Acres, he had more love than some cats get in three times that time. He was blessed to find you, and we are blessed that you shared him with us.

  11. Six and a half years old. Like my beloved Chester, stolen from me by chronic kidney disease…
    So, so sad for your loss, Robyn, Fred and the Gang, but at the same time, so, so grateful Stephan had got you, and you him.

  12. (((((Hugs to you & Fred)))) Stephen was one of the lightest orange kitties I’ve ever seen. At times, if the sunlight was slanted right, he almost looked white. Isn’t it strange how each cat/dog/critter has an individual personality? The laid-back, sweet-natured ones always earn a special place in our hearts. But Stephen is no doubt waiting at the rainbow bridge with the many other Anderson kitties. So sorry for your loss.

  13. Oh Robyn, although always heartbroken to read about any of your Permies crossing over, Stefan’s passing has me a bit weepy here at my desk. I’m so, so sorry to read about the sweet lad…

    Stefan, now you make sure to visit your Mom and Dad from time to time, and say hi to Maxi from all of us.

    Brigitte and Malcolm from Canada

  14. So sorry to hear this, Robyn. Uncle Stefan was a wonderful kitten caretaker, and I know you and your crew will miss him greatly. I’ll for sure miss reading about him and seeing his sweet face.

  15. You gave Stefan such a wonderful life! The only thing he lacked was length of years. Such a good teddy bear of a boy. I love the top picture of him basking in a sunbeam, and imagine Stefan is doing the same now in another dimension, his spirit remembering the love you lavished on him.

  16. A beautiful tribute for a truly beautiful soul. I’m so grateful to you and Fred for saving this sweet boy and giving him a good and happy life and plenty of kittens to neck-chomp.

    I wonder if Archie will even notice that his nemesis is missing or if his new mission of dishtowel destruction made him forget all about his feud with Stefan.

    Stefan will forever be one of my favourites. Awww, who am I kidding? ALL CATS are my favourites… but he was certainly at the top of that long list with an asterisk by his name and a footnote that read:

    *If ever in Alabama, sneak into Crooked Acres and steal that adorable NapMaster.

    The photo of him melting out of that hut kills me dead every time I see it, lol.

    • That photo is my favorite in this post – the sweet, derpy, totally relaxed way he’s resting on the top of his head. Lovely boy.

  17. He was one of my absolute favorites, as I’ve always had a soft spot for ornj boys. Farewell sweet Uncle Stefan. So hard to say goodbye, but what a great life you gave him.

  18. So sorry you lost another baby. it is hard to let them go but he will be waiting at Rainbow Bridge.

  19. My heart breaks that you have to write another tribute post so soon. It’s a beautifully written homage to a lovely ornj boy who left us far too soon. Thinking of you all as you adjust to a house that must feel so quiet and empty without Maxi and now Stefan. Praying the losses are done for a good long while.

  20. what a lovely tribute to that sweet boy…I am so sorry for your loss…thank you for giving him a life of love and more love…

  21. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful boy. So many great pics – that top one is beautiful. And the one on the fancy sofa cracks me up. I know you and Fred will miss him. Hugs to you and a sweet good-bye to Uncle Stefan.

  22. tears flowing…

    I am so sorry you you and Fred. I can only imagine what a sweet boy Stefan was. Extra hugs to ALL.

    Now I must go hug my work kitty…

  23. I so loved this sweet, handsome boy from afar. He really had a place in my heart and imagination — this has a lot to do, of course, with Robyn’s photos and stories. But it was also that gentle look in his eyes. And, of course, the snake. . . Like their cats, Robyn and Fred are extra special, and I’m so sorry you too have to cope with another loss.

  24. I had forgotten that he was the snake catcher! What a wonderful, loving life you guys gave him. So sorry that you didn’t get more time together.

  25. We never have our beloved cats with us long enough, but particularly in this case. Your tribute was lovely and showed (I should say reminded) me what a sweet, friendly, and adorably indolent cat Stefan was. I am so glad he was able to spend time in your care and love. My best wishes for you, Fred, and all of the other permanent residents.

  26. We will miss that sweet boy with you. Stefan on the Prairie will always make me smile. Purrs to you and your family.

  27. Stefan reinforced all my stereotypes of lovable orange cats. sSfe home, orange boy!

  28. So very sorry, Robyn. Stefan waddling in with the snake is one of my all time favorite Crooked Acres moments. Love to you and Fred. ❤️

  29. I always thought of Stefan as a laid-back surfer dude. I’m sorry for you and Fred.

    Ride on, surfer dude.

  30. Robyn, I am so, so sorry to hear about Stefan. I said this elsewhere, but I know when I come back in the next life, I want to be one of your and Fred’s furry critters. It has to be difficult to say goodbye twice in the last month, I hope you can find comfort in all the good memories, knowing your love, devotion, and care you give to all your animals is the best.

  31. I’m very sad and sorry you’ve suffered another loss so soon after the last one. It’s very tough to say goodbye to such a special friend. All of the photos of him with the different kittens and in those various silly hats are just wonderful! He was a great cat in that gentle giant tradition, and you were all lucky to find and know and love each other.

  32. I can’t stop crying, he looks so much like my Simon. I can’t imagine life without him. My heart goes out to you and Fred. I lost Rocky literally overnight to cancer with no idea he was sick. Thankfully you had time to say goodbye to Stefan. You gave him a wonderful life and he will be missed.

  33. I’m so sad to hear about Stefan. He was such a good sweet boy. I’m so glad he got to experience life with the two of you and be an uncle to all the sweet kittens. May he Rest In Peace. We love you Stefan!

  34. Again,so sorry for your loss, Robyn and Fred. I loved Stefan’s sweet, gentle face. You have to remember that you provided him with the best life ever. Godspeed, dear Stefan, as you cross over the Rainbow Bridge to join the other Anderson kitties as well as my loved ones!

  35. Oh, so sad. Bye bye best big Unca Stefan, a role model for caring cuddlesome mancats everywhere. Many condolences Robyn.

  36. Tangaloor, fire-bright
    Flame-foot, farthest walker
    Your hunter speaks
    In need he walks
    In need, but never in fear.
    Tad Williams, Tailchaser’s Song

    For all.of the cats that wander in and bless out lives. Be they young and perfect; battered and solemn; shattered to the core, they enhbave the lives of those lucky enough to share their kingdom. They teach us that our own journey through life is one of constant change and adaptation. But our own selves are like pearls, created by layer after layer of present laid over past until the original thing is completely hidden.

  37. So very sorry to hear of the loss of Uncle Stefan. Who is going to teach the Mainers their manners and how to don their floof suits now? He was such a pretty boy and I loved his name. That first picture of him on the steps in the sunbeam? – pure kitty bliss! Wishing you unlimited eternal sunbeams to lounge in, sweet Stefan!

  38. Is there any chance Dewey will step up and fill the ‘Uncle-to-the-Fosters’ void Stefan’s passing leaves? IIRC Dewey loves everyone and most everyone loves/tolerates him.

    • First time I have smiled all day… I tried to rescue a tiny house panther today but didn’t get to him in time….backed my dually back to where I saw him last but by then some one hit him. Took him to the vet but nothing could be done.

  39. So very sad. He’s gone way too soon. But to paraphrase: better to have had him in your/our lives this short time then never at all. Orange, of any shade, kitties are my downfall but he definitely held a special place in my heart, he will be missed.

    Hugs to you and Fred.

  40. Stefan was definitely too young to be called to the Bridge but from what we understand, there are lots of kittens there who desperately need manner learnin’ and someone thought only he would fit the bill. We will miss seeing him and reading about him (we had no idea that was him in the bonnet!) and are sending you so much love and comforting purrs. Thank you for loving him and sharing him with the world.

  41. The hardest part of being a cat momma or papa is saying goodbye.

    Robyn, I rarely comment, but I’ve been following you and your gang for going on 15 years. I cry every time you have to say goodbye to one of your clowder as if it was my own sweet lovey I had lost. My heartfelt condolences to you and Fred. Thank you for letting Stefan adopt you, giving him a special life, and sharing it with us all. Indeed, know that by sharing all your gang, and all your fosters with us, you spread a little light and love in the world.

    Safe travels, sweet Stefan. You will be missed.

  42. Sweet, sweet Stefan. And so smart, too – he figured out he had found kitty nirvana! Hugs all around…

  43. As usual, I am weeping my heart out. So sorry about you’re losing him. Goodbye Stefan.

  44. Goodbye Stefan. This is turning out to be kind of a hard summer for you. Stefan was my favorite. I loved that boy and his laid back attitude. I’m glad that there wasn’t a lot of invasive medical treatment for him. More and more I am leaning towards gentle care even in the face of traumatic symptoms unless swift return to health can be guaranteed. He had such a good life once he found you. I know you feel cheated as I do with my Tiffany who passed from kidney failure at only four. I will never recover from her loss. Hugs Robyn and Fred.

  45. I am soo so sorry. It is very hard to lose a loved fur baby, But when they are so young is it is even harder. I know because of losing our Lily when she was only 8