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Max the Cat receives Honorary Doctorate in 'Litter-ature’ from Vermont University :-)

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Read this cool article (the Mrs. 'still' won't let me have one...for now [grin]...I want a Bengal), today about a cat in academia & had to share...it's the 'purrfect' read to end the weekend on 'a high note'. :thumbsup:

By Mary Wairath-Holdrigde - USA Today - 20 May 24

🐈 Max the campus cat? Try Dr. Max the Cat, thank you very much.

Vermont State University Castleton's 2024 graduating class had the honor of sharing their commencement celebrations over the weekend with none other than Max, a tabby cat who has become something of a local celebrity during his time at
the university.


Dr. Max @ Graduation

Max, recognized by the college by his formal name Max Dow, has become something of a fixture on campus since moving into his nearby home with his mom, Ashley Dow, about five years ago.


A former feral kitten of a nearby town, Max moved onto the very same street that leads to the campus's main entrance. The curious kitty soon learned that, while school can be a slog for some, college can be lots of fun for felines.

When Max was about a year old, he began exploring his neighborhood, Dow told USA TODAY. One day, he went missing and his family began the search. That's when they first found him on campus and, soon, they began hearing from the students.

Max lives a few steps away from the campus with Ashley Dow and her family. They got him four years ago.

“I was asked, ‘What’s your affiliation with the college?’ I was like, ‘My cat is the emotional support animal.’ He likes to be carried around on backpacks. Students pick him up, and he crawls up on their backs,” Ashley Dow said.

"They just love him," Dow told USA TODAY. "I get students giving me welfare checks on him throughout the day."

“He comes out and actually greets most of our guests. He’ll follow them over to the old chapel where they get a general welcome, and then, when they start their tour, he usually follows right along with them,” said Brandon Kennedy, the associate director of admissions.


Complete with all the catnip perks, scratching post privileges, and litter box responsibilities that come with it.

“You can see him enlighten students. Day to day, I look out my window and see him walking along, and I see students put down their phones and pick up Max. He jumps on their backs, and they’re taking selfies with him. He draws the crowds,” said Jessica Duncan, director of career development and innovation.


For Max, paying a visit to the Castleton campus means getting lots of attention, taking rides on backpacks, scaling the greenhouse, posing for endless selfies, basking anywhere he pleases and even leading tour groups.

"He's been on the dean's desk, he made himself at home on the dean's desk," Dow said. "He's been in the coffee house, he walked right up to the head of the graduate program and she tracked me down and asked if I was Max's mom."


Dr. Max making 'his rounds'.

Max even attempts to visit the campus during breaks but returns disappointed after discovering no students are there, said Dow. Once, he got confused and stopped visiting after classes resumed, prompting students who thought he had disappeared to make a memorial for him, complete with framed photos and candles.

"The college has called a couple of times asking if he's OK and I say, 'No he's fine, he's just fat and lazy,'" Dow joked. "We brought him up a couple of times and ... told him don't forget the people up there because they miss you."

Works Cited: Max the Cat receives honorary Doctorate in 'Litter-ature'

"Cats are connoisseurs of comfort." James Herriot
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My elbows leak
Staff member
Cute cat, amusing story!
Thanks for sharing it.
I suspect that university antics like this (and other things) is why in the last decade potential students belief that "A College degree is important" went from 74% to 41%.
Colleges are not providing students with the education they need to succeed.

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