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Whiskers was Mitten's and Dusky's son. He was one of the most loving cats around. He accepted everyone that came along. He wasn't as attached to me as his father was though. He was his mother's boy. He adored his mom, and would stay and help her do things long after she didn't want him around anymore.

Julie and WhiskersHe stayed like a kitten in some ways, I think because of this. But he was a sweet and smart boy. His urinary tract didn't develop quite as big as he needed it, and he started suffering from blockage when he was about a year old. He didn't show any symptoms and so we remained unaware of the problem until he was so bad that he couldn't walk anymore. When he didn't come out of his house, we knew something was wrong, and rushed him in to the vet. They weren't very optimistic and said that surgery was probably needed, or they could put him to sleep.

This was devastating. Expensive surgery was out of the question, and I certainly didn't want him to suffer, but I couldn't bear the thought of putting him down. I asked if there wasn't anything else we could try, and they decided to try squeezing and see if the stones would come out. Luckily, they did, and he immediately perked up afterwards. From then on, he had a special diet and sometimes some medication to help this problem.

I was certainly relieved when he was all right, and shortly afterwards Dusky disappeared. I was worried he would go to try and find her. How would he take it? After all, he was never an inside cat...his mother was wild, and he was very attached to her. He was sticking close to our yard all the time, but I didn't want to risk it. We enclosed the dog pen we had and he stayed in it during the night and when I was at school. It had enough room for him to run around in, shade and sun, and he didn't seem to mind too much.

Sweetie joined our family shortly afterwards and he immediately made it his mission to make her happy. She had a long period of adjustment and she'd always been a little spooky, but after the initial hissing, she allowed him to care for her. He always let her make the decisions, and even though he could probably take her out if he wanted to, she ruled the roost. He seemed to enjoy it.

Barely a year after we decided to move. I was a little anxious since I didn't know how it would affect my babies. Sweetie had been moved twice already, and Whiskers had been born here. We found a nice house, but my anxiety deepened since it was on the intersection of two busy and high speed streets. We built them a nice pen for nights and they stayed out in the summer, and in the garage in the winter. They seemed to do alright, and Whiskers found a colony of voles outside the fence that he loved to hunt.

One of his greatest pleasures was to bring me whatever he'd killed. His favorite prey were birds, but he rarely caught any. He was oblivious to my failed attempts at discouraging this. He caught a robin one day and tried to bring it to me, but I was at school. My mom tried to take it from him (birds are horrible disease carriers, worms and lice among other things) but he hid it in the garage, and she couldn't find it. As soon as I walked in the door she started to try and tell me that I needed to go find it, but we heard this strange and gutteral cry coming from the garage. We opened the door and there was Whiskers presenting me with his robin. We had to laugh.

He decided one day it would be in my best interests if I learned to hunt voles. He brought me several dead ones and then a live one. I didn't know it was still alive as it was playing dead when he presented it to me, so I found a glove to take it to the garbage, and started to take it from his mouth. I think you can imagine my surprise when it turned, squirmed out of my hand and ran away into the garage. I started to try and find it, but there was a lot of stuff in the way. Whiskers sat purring and watching me. Occasionally he would point out to me where the vole had run to. He had the happiest look on his face. I decided I wouldn't ever catch it with my hands so I found a large mayonniese jar and used it to trap the vole. Then I slipped the lid underneath and had a live vole. Whiskers was so proud of me, he sang me a purry love song. You could see the accomplishment all over his face. Not wanting to have a vole slowly starving in a mayonniese jar, I decided I'd let it go under the back fence. He followed me out and couldn't believe his eyes when I let it go. He looked at me with the most disgusted look I've ever seen a cat give someone. Then he turned his back on me swished his tail and wouldn't speak to me for the rest of the day.

Whiskers and Sweetie on the porchLuckily for me, he rarely got angry with me. One day he didn't come home for dinner. He was usually always close by so I called him and walked up the street calling as well. He was nowhere. He wasn't there for breakfast either, or the next day. I asked around at the neighbors and no one knew where he was. The next day was my birthday and I started calling the animal control agencies to see if they'd picked him up for some reason. The lady said that they had an animal that was hit by a car matching his description and would I please hold while she went to see if he was still alive. I had to sit down pretty fast and I spent several prayerful and fearful minutes while she was gone. Finally she came back and said I would need to come down and identify him. She didn't say whether or not he was alive. I ran to find my mom and asked if she would drive me as I felt rather shaky and if he were dead I didn't think I'd be able to drive back. I found his carrier and tags and took them with me. The woman pointed me to a row of cages and said to come get her if we found him. He was there all curled up in the back of one of the tiny cages. When he saw me he came forward and rubbed against the bars. I looked him over quickly trying to see if he were hurt, but I couldn't see anything. My mom went and got the woman who opened the cage and I took him out. His leg had been shaved, but there were no cuts or bruises on him, and I couldn't see a limp or tender area on him. I do not know if he was hit by a car, but he was nowhere near death, and I didn't appreciate the woman for saying things like that. We paid to get him out and took him home where he got some treats and love for the rest of that day.

His stay in the pound had given him kennel cough and so I took him to the vet. The vet decided to join the woman at the pound and give me no end of torture by telling me that he thought my cat had Feline Lukemia and that it was all my fault. He assured me that there was no cure, and very little treatment for this disease and that was what all the symptoms pointed to. However, just in case it was kennel cough, he gave me some anitibiotics and told me to take his temperature daily to monitor his progress. If after a week he was no better, I might want to put him down, he said. I was horrified. But the antibiotic quickly reduced his fever and he was his usual loving self from the minute I got him home. I resolved to find a different and more compassionate vet.

When I decided to go on a mission, I knew that I would have to leave my babies and it was a hard decision to make. Whiskers and Sweetie were loved by my mom and I, but my stepdad didn't really care for them and I was hesitant to leave. But it was a commitment made, and so as I prepared to leave, I added them to my prayers. Whiskers was run over by a car the next month, and killed.