RIP Whisper, a Good Cat

My brother had to put down his cat, Whisper, whose brother Speak died several years ago.


She had terminal cancer. His cats, though domesticated, were almost feral near anyone but him, so whenever I would watch his cats for him, it was like a UFO spotting if you could get one of them to come near you for a very brief petting. They loved him, though, and she had the entire upstairs to his house as he blocked it off from the dogs. She slept on him every night, and loved him almost as much as he loved her.

If it had not been for Seth getting Speak and Whisper, I probably never would have gotten Tunch or now Steve. She’s buried in my parent’s backyard next to Speak, Mouse, and far too many other good pets.

66 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I’m sorry.

  2. 2

    Looks like my Jake.

    There is nothing like when a cat chooses you. It’s special in a way that is difficult to understand if you are not a cat person.

    My sympathies, Seth. She was a beauty. Whisper, say hi to Speak and Tunch for us. [[hugs]]

  3. 3
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    I’m so very sorry. They leave such big paw prints on our hearts.

  4. 4
    Joy in FL says:

    Wonderful friend. RIP.

  5. 5
    benw says:

    Sorry, that sucks. Whisper and Speak are awesome names.

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    Rest in peace, good kitteh.

  7. 7
    sharl says:

    Farewell Whisper, and thanks for treating your servant well and bringing him happiness.

  8. 8
    jacy says:

    Here’s to good pets. May we all do them justice.

  9. 9
    Mary in Ohio says:

    Frequent lurker popping in to say how sorry I am. Its hard to lose a furbaby.

  10. 10
    rikyrah says:

    Sorry for your brother. Whisper was loved and cherished.

  11. 11
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    So sorry. It’s always hard when you lose a loved one. He can take solace in knowin he gave Whisper a good life.

  12. 12
    Keith P. says:

    That looks almost just like the feral living partially under my deck. I feed the cat every day, sometimes leave out catnip, ALWAYS hear him calling for my female cat, but if I get within 10 feet of him, he bolts.

  13. 13

    RIP Whisper, I am sure she is with the Great Ceiling Cat of Balloon Juice, Tunch.

  14. 14
    dr. bloor says:

    So sorry. That is a picture of a kitteh who enjoyed a nice life, though.

  15. 15
    Aleta says:

    Very sorry Seth. The untamed ones are special in their love.

  16. 16
    SinnedBackwards says:

    Condolences to you and your brother.

  17. 17
    Anne Laurie says:

    Condolences to Seth. The ones who are “feral near anyone else” earn a special place, because they show such excellent taste in humans…

  18. 18
    gogol's wife says:

    I’m sorry. We lost one of our three semi-ferals to cancer a few years ago, and it still hurts. They aren’t “lap cats” but they’re very loving.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    middlelee says:

    I’m so sorry. What a beauty she was.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    Awww, pretty girl. I have become fond of tuxedo cats now that we have two (plus Annie, the brown tabby and classic middle child).

    One of my coworkers had to take a personal day last week because the various family cats keep getting terminally ill and she needed a break. It does seem like when you have 2 or more, they all want to go around the same time.

  22. 22
    Tom Levenson says:

    Condolences on the loss — so sad to say goodbye. (Whisper is the spitting image of Tikka minus a few good pounds, btw. Makes me reflexively pet my former feral.)

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The last of what I’m sure were a lot of good things he did for Whisper. My sincerest condolences. It is never easy letting them go.

  24. 24
    Mary G says:

    My feral-around-anyone-else has just been sitting on my chest rubbing his head on the tablet. He sends his condolences to Seth. I send mine too.

  25. 25
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Sorry for your brother, John. I am linked to cats, and feel their loss deeply.

    In better non-news, the cat we adopted in honor of Tunch is now my best buddy and our 16 lb. Watchcat. Daytime Watchcat; the local news is reporting mountain lion activity in our neighborhood.

  26. 26
    Punchy says:

    Wow…cancer even takes the furry ones, too. My condolences to your brother, and props to you for being the catsitting Uncle.

  27. 27
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Your brother obviously loves The 13 Clocks.

    I’m so sorry. That is always one of the toughest decisions we humans are called upon to make.

    If Seth will accept long-distance virtual hugs from people he doesn’t know, here they are: {{{{{{{Seth and Whisper}}}}}}}

  28. 28
    Jane2 says:

    Condolences to Seth. Whisper looks pretty magnificent and content in that photo.

  29. 29
    stinger says:

    Condolences to your brother.

  30. 30
    Gemina13 says:

    I’m so sorry.

    Whisper, sweet girl, may you enjoy the Summerlands. You were and are deeply loved, and you will be just as deeply mourned.

  31. 31
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    The worst days of our lives when we have to say goodbye. Many blessings.

  32. 32
    Yutsano says:

    They stay with us for such a short time yet leave tiny but indelible paw prints on our hearts. Pacem a Seth.

  33. 33
    Miss Bianca says:

    Poor little Whisper. Tuxedos really do seem to be such sweet-tempered cats. A little tuxedo guy living at a friend’s house who was saddled with the unfortunate name of Hank Reardon snared my heart a few years back, and I was very grieved at his untimely demise.

    I know it’s not rational to think so, but cat colors do seem to me to correspond to certain temperments. (Except for my Maine Coon Angel, whom I rescued as a feral kitten, and who was, unlike Steve and other Maine Coons I’v either known or heard about, a fighter, not a lover. ; ) She would consent to sit near you, but not be cuddled. She might sleep near my feet or at my back, never my head. And I only ever heard her purr but once or twice after she grew out of kittenhood. But I miss her, my little bitchy feral kitty. Cats are such characters.)

  34. 34
    WereBear says:

    It is always special to love and be loved by a feral.

    Godspeed Whisper.

  35. 35
    Wag says:

    We are on vacation in the Keys, and today we visited Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West. I had forgotten about Hemingway’s love of cats, in particular his polydactyl cats. At the house there are 50+ cats, many of whom are six toed descendants of Snowball, Hemingway’s original six toed cat. The cats were friendly an loved the attention they got from the visitors.

  36. 36
    policomic says:

    My condolences to your brother and you all.

  37. 37
    Gex says:

    Condolences to your brother. It is so hard to lose a pet. That love is so real and so pure.

  38. 38
    PurpleGirl says:

    John, please give Seth my deepest sympathies. Whisper and Speak are great names. They own our hearts, leave their paw prints all over them. May Seth find comfort in knowing he gave Whisper and Speak good lives, and in the memories he has of them.

  39. 39
    seaboogie says:

    RIP, Whisper. Hugs to Seth in his sadness, and for giving Whisper and Speak such a loving home. Just gave my little 20 y.o. tuxedo a scritch in Whisper’s memory.

  40. 40
    No One You Know says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: yes, and with Peanut Butter, Miss Marple, Blue, and Kirby. All Good Cats.

    I am so sorry.

  41. 41
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    Um…..are those VHS tapes in the background? In 2016-ish? And you wonder why peeps openly wonder if y’all have indoor plumbing?

  42. 42
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: In 2013 we lost two cats within 10 days of each other, for completely unrelated reasons.

    The biggest adjustment was suddenly not having to deal with the enormous daily medical regimen that had been taking up more of our time and emotional effort than we’d realized. All that work to keep these old, sick cats alive, and all of a sudden it was just gone. That left a strange hole in itself.

  43. 43
    kc says:

    I’m sorry. She was a lovely kitty.

  44. 44
    satby says:

    Condolences to Seth. He gave Whisper and Speak good lives.

  45. 45
    CaseyL says:

    Condolences to your brother. Are these the kitties who were separated when Seth broke up with his wife/partner, and then reunited some years later? He gave them good lives, and reuniting them was an extraordinary mitzvah. (If Whisper and Speak are the kitties I’m thinking of.)

  46. 46
    trollhattan says:

    The nuns really, really frown on that there chain-yankin’, city slicker.

  47. 47
    ruemara says:

    Whisper was a happy cat, which speaks volumes for the goodness of Seth. Is there any better love than one given freely by those who love only a few? May Whisper shadow your footsteps and watch over you, until you get to meet again. RIP, Whisper and blessings and comfort to Seth. May he be graced with the love of a good cat again.

  48. 48
    Rob Lll says:

    Delurking to extend my sympathies. What a beautiful cat, and how hard it must be to lose him. So sorry for your family’s loss.

  49. 49
    joeyess says:

    Sorry to hear this, John.

    You helped me immensely when my Figadoo was murdered by an unknown dog…. breaks my heart to hear when folks lose their four-legged mystics.

  50. 50
    Suzanne says:

    Hugs to Seth. Whisper was beautiful.

    The cats that have had a hard, wild life first are usually my favorite.

  51. 51
    Jose Cabanillas says:

    By Kevin Denelsbeck

    I saw Mopsy and Lucy last night. They died earlier this year.

    They were healthier than I had last remembered, their black fur unmatted, their tails in furious swishes, their paws scratching at my legs.

    Jason the Russian Blue sauntered out then, ignoring the dogs he’d never met, offered his courtly head for a rub, his limbs no longer arthritic.

    Mopsy and Lucy distracted themselves into one of their infamous growl-yip playfights, leaving room for Pity, the mysterious white cat from Jason’s era, to pass by to the kitchen.

    Vickie the beagle, a real old-timer, galloped in next, her eyes afire like she’d seen a rabbit, running towards me the way she used to tease us at the bus stop.

    Jason tapped her nose with a paw and she veered off under the library table. A good thing, too, for Bub the Great Pyrenees, the great white dog who had to stay outside in a run most of his life, rumbled in, his old pal Gabby Whiskers the miniature schnauzer nipping at his heels like always.

    They disappeared into the hallway. Finally, Butters, the butter-colored tabby, jumped up on a nearby chair and lovingly butted my head with his. It was so good to see him spry and limber, his leg no longer broken and twisted from that unseen car, his eyes squinted in the pleasure of touch, not the agony of evisceration.
    I rubbed his back and felt it arch and then he leapt away and went off on some mission behind the sofa.

    And before the petless room winked out, I knew that all my old friends, so new and perfectly-remembered here, were no longer dead, but only hiding.

  52. 52
    BubbaDave says:

    My sympathy to all who loved her. May her memory be a blessing.

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    She was a pretty cat. Condolences to your brother. It sounds like he gave her a happy life. I hope the Cole parents are proud of having raised children with such a boundless capacity to love animals. It speaks well of their character — and yours.

  54. 54
    MomSense says:

    Aww, RIP Whisper.

  55. 55
    sherparick says:

    Condolences to you and Seth, JC. Here lies Whisper, a Good Cat, with his many companions to keep him company. They teach us to live well in this brief moment which is all we have.

  56. 56

    My wife and I have decided, since we are down to one cat since our beloved Buckaroo died right after Christmas, that we are going to start watching the shelter for young kittens. I appreciate those who adopt older cats, but we had such success with Buckaroo and his sister Josephine 18 years ago, getting them when they were barely weaned, and socializing them so they bonded with us. They were the most intelligent loving cats ever. You can only do that when you get the kittens very, very young.

  57. 57
    Paul in KY says:

    My condolences to your brother, John. Whisper was a beautiful cat. Wish I’d got a scritch in on her. Hope, in time, he gets another.

  58. 58
    Elizabelle says:

    Another beautiful cat, in cat heaven.

    Which I am not sure humans are allowed into. Dogs would find us great company for eternity. Cats? Maybe alternate Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Love the cats’ names. Whisper and Speak.

    Think they both had a good life with your brother, and are glad to be relieved of their ills, sad as they are to leave.

    @SiubhanDuinne: The 13 Clocks, hmmm? Will look it up.

  59. 59
    Wolvesvalley says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    The biggest adjustment was suddenly not having to deal with the enormous daily medical regimen that had been taking up more of our time and emotional effort than we’d realized. All that work to keep these old, sick cats alive, and all of a sudden it was just gone. That left a strange hole in itself.

    Oh, that’s so true. Our seventeen-and-a-half-year-old kitty was sent to the Rainbow Bridge on March 1, after years of medications (by the end, six different meds twice a day and subcutaneous fluids every evening) and refusal to use the litter box (she stuck to the area in front of the box, so I had a complicated arrangement of newspapers and plastic underlayment there). I still find myself attuned to the medication schedule and assessing the newspapers every day for usable pieces.

    I miss her weight in my lap and her loud purrs so much.

  60. 60
    Ann Marie says:

    John, please give my condolences to your brother. It is so hard to say goodbye to anyone you love, person or animal. I’ve lost two cats to cancer. He did the best he could for his friend.

  61. 61

    Damn. See you on the other side soon enough, Whisper.

    Hope my menagerie is all there, waiting. If there’s no dogs or cats in the afterlife I have zero interest in going. Take me to wherever they’ve gone. I know who my real friends are and most are non-human.

  62. 62
    tam1MI says:

    Delurking to offer my condolences to your brother, John. I can see by the picture that he gave Whisper a wonderful life. He can take some comfort in knowing he did the right thing by her, right to the end.

  63. 63
    Seth says:

    Thanks for all the sweet thoughts, everyone,

    To answer a few questions: Speak and Whisper were brother and sister from a feral cat friends of mine took in in Chicago. They both came to me when I broke up with my then girlfriend (we are still great friends and she got to see them whenever she made it out my way). Speak was definitely the more feral of the two. He would not put up with being picked up but he was the most amazingly loving cat when he wanted to be. I learned what he liked and didn’t and gave it to him. The looks he gave while permitting me to love him were simply incredible. Whisper was much sweeter in general and very quiet in comparison to her loudmouth, talkative brother. Or she was until he passed. Then she found her voice and her name became ironic.

    I think my favorite story with them and my brother was one time when he was taking care of them and he called furious to tell me that Whisper cut him horribly when he tried to pick her up. I couldn’t believe it as she would not exactly like being picked up but would never do such a thing in my experience. I finally thought to ask her what he thought Whisper looked like, and he said “she is grey and white.” Lol. Nope, you fool. That was Speak and I told you to never pick him up under any circumstances. Served him right for never being able to remember which was which.

    Anyway, Whisper was a complete darling and actually became very affectionate towards other people as she aged. I am still struggling to accept that she is gone and I will never kiss the little bald spots on her forehead ever again. Damn I miss her. It is really hitting me how much of my life was centered around her.

    I would like to get another cat but my dogs are jerks towards them. Speak and Whisper hated any other animals so they never came around my dogs. Other cats have twice scratched Boghan’s eyes as he tries to sniff them all over and if they put up with that he starts puppy bowing and hopping around to try to get them to play. I need a brain dead declawed cat, I think.

  64. 64
    Seth says:

    Oh, and yeah, those are VHS tapes but if the pic were higher def you would see the layers of dust on them, lol. I just never got around to getting rid of them.

  65. 65
    daryljfontaine says:

    Condolences, Seth, on the loss of a beautiful cat.

    This morning as I left my apartment to drive to work, backpack in one hand, bag of cat litter for the garbage in the other, I looked down the stairs to where Hamilton had somehow teleported out of the apartment and was preparing to explore the basement. He wasn’t supposed to develop these powers quite yet.


  66. 66
    Paul in KY says:

    @Seth: Thank you for your comment, Seth. Another kitteh would soon have dogs trained fine.

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