Thurston Waffles the cat death: Fans mourn meowing meme star

Thurston Waffles meowing at the camera
(Image credit: @thurstonwaffles/Instagram)

With his iconic meow that saw him featured in numerous memes and his stunning white coat, Thurston Waffles was a social media sensation with a loyal and devoted following that have been left devastated by news of his sudden death.

Hailing from North Dakota where he lived with his owners Matt and Shelli, Thurston Waffles popularity skyrocketed in 2019 after a video showing him meowing loudly in protest when Matt refused to take him for a walk went viral, accumulating more than 430,000 likes on Instagram.

Receiving a call from his parents back in 2010 informing him that they had come into possession of Ragamuffin twins, in a recent interview, Matt comically described the moment he met Thurston Waffles for the first time: 

“When we made the pilgrimage to see them, we saw a scruffy little gremlin staring back at us. We only had room for one kitten at the time: unfortunately, we picked the evil twin,” he jokes. 

“From the first moment I held him and he locked his tiny white fangs onto the flesh of my arm, I instantly fell in love with him. From the vacuous hatred in his eyes to the demanding scowl, I knew from that moment I was forever his.”

Matt didn’t initially plan on sharing Thurston Waffles with the world, but he soon realized just how unique the white ball of fluffs personality was and decided to see how he was received by the online cat community.

“After a couple of years of living with Thurston, I realized that it was basically like living with a rageaholic feral child (one with sharp claws and a piercing howl). He had a lot of bizarre, destructive and funny behaviors.

He was also extremely communicative and loudly told us anytime he was displeased. So I started recording him whenever he would fly into a murderous rage.

Our intentions were never really to have Thursty become a meme: He was always a superstar to us. But it was fun to see other people laugh at the things he did. Online cats have given us so much joy over the years, so it was really fun to contribute to the cat meme culture in some way.”

A huge fan of retro gaming and chiptunes, Matt says that one of his favorite fan-made memes of Thurston Waffles would have to be ‘ducktales to the moon’ but that he and Shelli have enjoyed watching so many great memes that have come out over the years featuring their beloved Thursty.

In a heartbreaking tweet shared on Wednesday 7th of September, Matt shared the sad news that Thurston Waffles had died suddenly and unexpectedly after struggling with a sinus infection for several weeks that was later confirmed to be nasal cancer. 

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The tweet has so far been retweeted more than 10,000 times and over 1,800 messages of condolence have been left by those who never met Thurston but loved him all the same. 

“Oh my god this hurts my heart so bad!! I'm really sorry for your loss, and I'm pretty sure Thursty is happy in cat's heaven,” wrote one Twitter user, with another adding “my condolences to mom & dad :(( the little shrimpy Thurston has truly warmed hundreds of thousands of people. may he live forever in all the memes.”

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.