Lifestyle & Human Interest

Internet Obsessed with This Cat Who Sounds Like He's Saying 'Well, Hi' in a Southern Accent


Both pet owners and parents of small children have a special connection with their charges that allows them to understand the intent behind even the most garbled phrases.

Until children learn to enunciate clearly, it usually takes mom, dad or a savvy sibling to translate.

Animals, of course, don’t speak quite the same way, though plenty of pet owners will tell you they communicate just as clearly as some people. It’s rare that a critter makes a sound that is widely understood as sounding like human language, but it has happened.

The most recent instance that has gone viral is a clip of an adorable ginger cat who clearly says “Well, hi!” with an unmistakably southern accent.

The video, posted by gambino_911 on Instagram, opens with two cats, one lying on the floor and one scampering off to hide behind the refrigerator.

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The person with the camera follows the running kitty into the kitchen, and when the cat comes into view around the corner it looks up and gives its now-famous greeting.

“It sounds like he is saying “Well Hi!!! “ in a thick southern accent!!” the owner (whose name is Tawny, according to NBC’s “Today“), wrote.

The cheerful kitty’s name is Gambino, and people have been falling for him right and left, tagging friends in the comments section of the video and sending the friendly feline their best wishes.

“He does a lot of chatting,” Tawny told “Today.”

Apparently, the talking seems to be reserved for humans, as Gambino doesn’t talk to Tom Petty, the other cat in the house. “They don’t talk to each other, just to me and my husband,” Tawny explained.

Gambino chose Tawny and her husband as his crew five years ago when he showed up unannounced and uninvited on their doorstep, and quickly made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere.

Of course, some people have focused on a peripheral issue and created an imaginary mountain out of a misinterpreted molehill — as many people are wont to do — by demanding to know why the cats’ owner would use a “shock collar” on her cats.

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In the video, you can clearly see small, gray boxes attached to the cats’ collars, but they’re not shocking or training devices at all.

They’re from Whistle, a company that creates location trackers for pets.

The units have GPS tracking, which is incredibly useful for trying to find elusive pets or animals who get outside and lose their way.

Some people seem unclear on the difference between a microchip and a location-tracking device.

A microchip is an informational unit that is implanted on a dog, cat or other animal but can only be accessed by someone with a scanner, and the scanner must be used directly on the animal.

A GPS tracker uses a cellular network and allows owners to track their pets in real time through an app on their phone.

It’ll probably be a while before GPS collars catch on, as they are more expensive and cannot be implanted, but they are lifesavers when the pet in question gets out or lost.

If Gambino ever wanders off, his owners should be able to find him as long as he’s wearing that collar. But for now, it seems like he is up to normal cat shenanigans and loving life.

“My husband tried to take him off the counter and I said ‘He’s a celebrity now, he can do what he wants!'” Tawny told “Today,” laughing. “It’s sad he’ll never know how popular he is but I guess he’s gonna be humble about it.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking