(His name may or may not have been inspired by a certain delicious doughnut chain. And creamsicles. And I may or may not have a problem naming pets after delicious food, ain't that right childhood guinea pig named Chocolate?)
The kittens were very cute together, even when Cassi and I weren't doing terrible things like feeding them ice cream.
Whispey slept on my pillow the first night I had him, which really isn't all that surprising since the last cat I dearly loved began her life with me in a sleeping bag on the laundry room floor because my cruel parents required her to sleep in there despite her pitiful little mewing.
However, Whispey quickly became too large to fit on my pillow, and had to be re-trained to just sleep on the bed next to me.
He was a sweet cat, a little skittish at first and easily startled, but always there at bedtime. Whenever I slept, wherever my bed was, he would show up.
He was there with me when I turned 21, and got ridiculously falling down drunk. Totally willing to spend the night with me on the floor if that was the place I decided to be.
He was there when I got pregnant, a quiet and reassuring presence that could potentially unintentionally smoother the baby.
And he was what I held during the tears of the deployments and divorce.
The children loved him too.
He was a peaceful creature, who enjoyed the sun and his too small cat bed.
And he was my fuzzy companion for many long years.
A few weeks ago there was a night where he wasn't on my bed. As he had gotten older, sleeping on my bed had become his favorite activity day round. After the second night of a noticeable absence of my bedtime companion, I went to find him. He was on the floor in Kristina's room, underneath her bed.
He couldn't walk. He didn't respond to me talking to him, to saying his name. He wouldn't eat, and couldn't use the litterbox. He just laid there, looking vacantly past me.
The vet wasn't sure if it was a brain infection or a tumor, but regardless, the rate of decline was so drastic it was ultimately irrelevant.
And so then I had to say goodbye to this cat who had always been there with me through all of the stress and laughter and turmoil and questionable judgement and change and hope and grief of the past 9 years.
And it was so much harder than I thought it would be.