When Marley and I got married a dozen or so years ago, we had some animals in our lives already, and ended up adopting many others, resulting in a household in the last few years of senior animals, and way too many of them passing in a short time frame. This time we said goodbye to Stripe, our grumpy cat. I can’t remember any moment in time when she was without her classic scowl.
We adopted Stripe many years ago with her siblings Thomas and Lily – Lily is the last one remaining of the “greys” now. Stripe – who you will notice is without a single stripe – was named by Marley’s son, who was seven at the time. What can I say? Very early on in her life she decided she didn’t like other cats, any other cats, and she would have been happier as a solo kitty somewhere but she was never social enough that anyone else would take her.
She loved to sit with Marley when he was reading or on the computer, and she was glad for pets from me as long as it was head and chin only. But she spent most of her time alone. We even had to put a litter box up on an inside window seat area for her since she didn’t want to be anywhere near the litter areas of the other cats.
Whether it started because of a fight we never saw, or because she just didn’t like the other cats, Stripe made herself into prey and she got treated that way by a couple of our cats. Anytime she saw them she cowered and cornered herself somewhere easy to get and Minh and Annie in particular would go after her. I never could get her to play out in the open room or get what Jackson Galaxy would call her cat mojo going. She was happy with people, but some of our other cats made her life more difficult than it should have been.
A few months ago she stopped eating her usual amounts. Her senior panels (complete blood work) in August and December were perfect. She had xrays, and no sign of problems. We tried various appetite stimulants, and went through just about every food (dry, wet, and raw) on the market, but without much luck. She was scheduled for a ultrasound soon, but she wasn’t able to make it that long. For the last month I have been force-feeding her multiple times a day with a prescription urgent care food. Over the last couple weeks she had been very lethargic limiting her activities to sleeping on her favorite radiator, and in one of the cat beds, rarely venturing away from either.
A couple days ago she started refusing food altogether, and anything I managed to get into her much-shrunken frame came right back out, and it was time.
Stripe didn’t have the kind of life we wished for her, despite our best efforts. We even had her on Prozac for a bit, but it made no discernible difference. Our fondest hope for her is that reincarnation is a reality, and that she gets a do-over in the next life. She was a very sweet little girl, and happiest when in our laps or sitting with one of us quietly, away from other cats. Rest in peace, little one, hopefully on some nice warm radiator somewhere. We will miss you.