OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Patches the cat did not survive a surgery paid for by well-wishers from around the country.
Patches suffered a spinal cord injury that paralyzed her rear right leg when she was a kitten.
To help pay for an operation, 10-year-old Aspen Granath and her 8-year-old brother, Skylar, opened a lemonade stand.
"Buy a drink, help my cat," their sign read.
Their story touched the hearts of people nationwide who volunteered to pay for the surgery.
But on Thursday night, 11 hours after the surgery, Patches died while recuperating from the surgery. The cat's family was able to spend a few hours with her before she passed away.
However, while shopping in a grocery store, they got the phone call about the death. "I just looked at Dad and saw the look on his face. So I said, 'Am I in trouble? Are you in trouble? Is it Patches?"' Aspen said.
When he nodded his head, "I just started bawling. I ran out to the truck," she said.
Patches died on Thursday, but the family didn't tell reporters of the death until Friday night.
"Aspen was crying and upset and too angry," father Blue Granath said. "She even threw up once I didn't take her with me to the vet to pick up Patches' body."
Although Patches has died, donations for the surgery are still coming in. The family says it will donate the money to a local animal hospital.
On Saturday, the family had raised more than $1,100. Checks came in from local residents and strangers as far away as Texas.
"My cat's famous in Texas," Aspen said. "But now she's just going to be a sad, famous cat."
Information from: Standard-Examiner
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)