Shasta Claire, aka Stinky LaRue: ? – July 14, 2011

Some 14 years ago my sister and I were running errands.  I needed to stop at the bank.  While Rebecca waited in the car I ran inside.  There by the door was a cute yellow tabby cat with beautiful eyes

I finished my banking and decided that if that cat was still there I’d take her.  My sister, reading my mind, was shaking her head “no” when I emerged from the bank.  I picked up the cat and headed for the car.  Steve has allergies and our beagle would not be happy, but I love cats and we could work around any problems.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Honestly, I ran an ad in our paper to which there was no reply.  I made an appointment to find out more about this cat who I’d decided to call Shasta.  The vet knocked her out, shaved her, and discovered that she’d already been fixed:)  Someone had loved her before me.

Shasta had the most personality of any cat I’ve owned.  She was hilarious!  Her antics started when she’d drive Steve and our beagle Belle crazy.  A neighbor reported seeing her climb our porch swing and poop on the roof!  It was around that time that Gruper even started to “like” her.  She communicated clearly.  She pointed out a snake to me once and tried to tell me she’d seen a bear another time.

Though early nicknames included Puss and Punkin’, Steve gave her the nickname she loved:  Stinky LaRue.  It honestly made her smile:)  I still called her Chassa most of the time, my special name for her.

Initial plans were that Shasta would not come to Canada with us.  She made a clear point at that time and we relented.  What a great decision.  That cat LOVED her life up here!  She couldn’t wait in the spring for signs of “time to go.”  She was a good traveller and especially enjoyed getting to sleep on a real bed in the hotel (I’d get one for Steve and one for Chassa and Mama). 

My girl’s experiences in Canada were the likes that cats dream of.  She saw moose, bear and pine martin for sure.  We think she must have encountered a coyote or wolf at some time, based on her reaction to the stuffed one in the Bear’s Den.  She loved to spook the ducks and geese.  She’d pull an all-nighter about once a season–scaring me to death.  She rode in the golf cart and visited the dump.  She was so damned adaptable.  You could usually find me by looking for her; she kept me good company all season long.  Here she is examining a crayfish her dad found:

Stinky definitely had (at least) nine lives!  To get to the bank where we found each other, she’d had to cross any one of many busy roads.  When diagnosed with congestive heart failure last summer, the x-ray revealed a pellet in her hip.  That explained the arthritis she suffered.  She dislocated a hip this spring and put it back in place herself–showing us that she could walk all over Camp and even jump from a stump onto the dock! 

We believe it was a heat stroke a couple of weeks ago that began her demise.  A couple of days later, she rallied back and ate a bird on the deck.  Since she had never done that to our knowledge, we think it was on her bucket list.  The meds for her congestive heart failure were never guaranteed to fix her forever.  Last August the vet said maybe a month, maybe a year.  She gave us 10+ months more of good quality time, something for which I’m grateful.  I had asked of her one month last summer–time to heal from much larger emotional wounds suffered by our family.  She gave me so much more.  I already miss her so much…such a super companion.  There was no doubt that she would remain up here.  She has a nice spot in the campground where she can enjoy Canada year-round.

I grabbed some of her best photos here.  She LOVED to play and had different games/toys including



and crunchy bag–the indication that she wanted to play NOW

Her sense of humor was her strongest asset.  She knew when she was being funny and enjoyed making us smile:

All of her playing and humor inducement led to her very favorite activity, sleeping:


My laptop screensaver is my favorite photo of her:

Rest in peace, My Girl.  ‘Though you weren’t much of a hunter on Earth, perhaps you’ll decide that bird was good and get to find many, many more in your new home:

3 Responses to “Shasta Claire, aka Stinky LaRue: ? – July 14, 2011”

  1. Sandra Snyder Says:

    I have so much more to say that a comment, so if you are not a “true” pet lover, go find something else to do.
    Eldon and I had been informed of Stinky’s failing health quit awhile ago so when the call came Thursday evening I knew it was time. I am sure there are some of you that think it was just a cat. But to those of you whom had the privilage and fun furtune to be around the ole Stink, you know better. Andrea always said that it was Stink that sold my husband and I on Tall Pines camp the day we visited looking for new surroundings. I am sure it was part of it. Stink was on her game that day. Playful, voiceful, and ready to strutt her stuff as camp mascot. She played with her balls, her feathers, purred from tummy scratches and ear rubs. And showed off by “squishing” under a cabin on command. How she ever got her fat ass under that cabinet ill be damned if i know but she did. Only to come out, grin, and proudly do it again. My husband and I booked a cabin that day and have been going back every year since. I think that was 5 or 6 years ago. Every year when we arrived I instantly looked for the “ole Stink”. And in the middle of the week after I had been away from my own animals that I was starting to miss, she was always good for a hug or nudge as a replacement til I got home to my own fur-kids. She was a cat of many moods. She could be a “snit” as well. I remember once having the cabin door open and her proudly walking in, down the hall into every room and then leaving. With not so much as a meow, purr or pet. Thus the name of “snit”. To this day at our home in Iowa, if one of my fur-kids has that “don’t bother me” attitude about them, I tell them to stop being such a “stink”. This is my good bye to you Ms Stink. You were awesome. I will miss you. Camp will not be the same without the Iowa cat that came to Canada and lived the life of a lioness.
    Good bye Stink.
    Steve and A, I am so very sorry.

  2. Rachel Voytko Says:

    So sorry to hear about your loss, but it makes my heart happy to know she passed in a place she loved and she can rest easy at. She had such a special place in your hearts and I know she’ll remain there. Hang on to those good memories and take one day at a time. I’ll be thinking about you! 🙂

  3. Marji Says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. It is so very hard to lose a member of your family. She rests in a place that she made her home with her people. Keep her memory alive in the many photos and recounting her antics and how she made you smile. It won’t be the same without seeing her around camp. See you in about 6 weeks! 🙂

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