Cats are a central part of life here at Kenyon. Sometimes it seems like there are hundreds of little yellow or green eyes watching you on your late-night market runs. Other times, they’re nowhere to be found (especially when it’s raining). Some of them are friendly. Some are skittish, some are demons, and some are a mixed bag. Whatever their personalities may be, I think it’s safe to say that this is campus is their home, too. So, we should strive to treat them with kindness and give them the space they deserve! Here’s a guide to the most famous cats on campus (and whether or not they’re approachable). Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I’m not an art major; my cat doodles are shitty. Sorry about that.
The Infamous Bam Bam
Bam Bam is old, fat, and grumpy. If you’ve never interacted with him before, he probably doesn’t like you. He won’t like you the second or third time, either. It took me a full year before he’d come for pets when I called his name. Therefore, if you’re patient, cautious, and non-threatening, Bam Bam will become your ally (and then hopefully, your friend). The way to this retired king’s heart is through his fluffy tum. Bring him treats! Then he will accept you into his inner circle. Oh– and don’t overwhelm him. He’s a traumatized boy. Give him space if he seems like he needs it; he’ll swipe at you if you make him upset.
First Spotted: Eons ago
Owner None. Crozier is HIS house; the humans are just living in it
Moxie & Moxie’s Friend
Ah, Moxie. The mischievous, mouse-killing, frolicking little rascal referred to with a various mix of pronouns. His mother uses he/him, but he’s a cat, so it really doesn’t matter. This confident little prince has been known to wander into buildings, hop up on laps, and stop strangers on their way to Peirce for pets. He is very, very, VERY friendly. Please! Pet him! He will DIE if you don’t give him attention right! Now! He’s an indoor/outdoor cat and he lives next to the Aclands. Sometimes, he’s accompanied by his shy little brother, whose name I don’t know. This tabby is a smaller, more chill version of Moxie. I saw him digging a hole in the ground the other day. That is not how to be a cat.
First Spotted: A year or so ago
Owner: The woman who lives in the house next to the Aclands!
Some students call him Warrior, but the woman who feeds him calls him Blackie. He’s got funny-looking ears, he’s big, and he’s mean. Don’t cross this boy. He will murder your loved ones and eat your soul. He hangs out around the fire station. He is an absolute unit and has first dibs on all the kibble left out for stray cats. He decides who lives and who dies. Sometimes, he takes apprentices. If he looks at you, avert your eyes and keep walking. Respect the big man and he will not fight you (he mainly prefers fighting raccoons).
First Spotted: In the void
Owner: Satan himself
I think he was born that way and it doesn’t seem to be slowing him down. He’s graceful, diligent, and super fast! He hangs out behind the Bookstore and the under-Bookstore parking lot. He’s very nervous. He has meowed at me before, but I think it’s because he thought I was going to bring him food. Nine times out of ten, he zooms away from humans like a little bunny. He’s also one of Blackie’s apprentices, so he’s doing very well for himself. Well done, Mr. No-Tail!
First Spotted: I first saw him last year, but he could’ve been around for longer
Owner: No tail, no master
She’s the most elegant lady on the block. She lives in the white house next to the Gambier barber shop with several other kitty friends. It’s clear, however, that she is the queen. Her gorgeous floofy coat shows that she’s sophisticated and mysterious. She runs from outsiders, but she’ll gladly watch you from her stoop. Sometimes, Blackie appears to court her. She tolerates his presence, but she’s very much her own woman.
First Spotted: Since before I came to Kenyon
Owner: She works at the Kenyon Bookstore!
This isn’t actually her name. I just call her that because she’s a mother and her back leg is white, while the rest of her is grayish-brown. Over the summer, she had kittens. She raised them all by herself on the wooden porch next to the VI. I tried to approach the happy family, but she wasn’t having it. She hissed at me to go away. I backed off because clearly she’s a strong, independent working mother who doesn’t need my help. The kittens were captured for Gambier’s trap-neuter-release program. They couldn’t get Mama Leggy, though. She was just too clever. These days, she skitters around outside Unity House and behind the Bookstore. Sometimes I hear her yowling outside my window. I think she gets into fights every now and then. What a powerhouse.
First Spotted: This summer
Owner: Her own dang self!
And that’s everybody I know! There are, of course, many more strays and domestic kitties roaming around town. However, these pals are the main players. They’re the ones students interact with (or attempt to interact with) the most. They’re really good and we should do our best to make sure they are okay. Always remember to approach stray cats with caution. Humans stress them out, even if they’re semi-friendly. They’re not here to be petted (unless they’re Moxie); they’re here to chill and live their own lives. Feel free to notify the Knox County Humane Society if you come across any injured or friendly strays. If you’re looking for an ESA, please consider adopting! Gambier has a cat problem and shelter cats are beautiful friends.