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October 12, 2009 | by  | in News |
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Cat-astrophe on Kelburn Parade

Popularity proves problematic for ‘poor precious’

The Cats Protection League has raised concerns with Victoria University recently in regards to student relations with a cat living close to the university’s Kelburn Campus.

The cat, described as a longhaired agouti male, is generally found outside 88 Salamanca Rd, just past the intersection at the bottom of Kelburn Parade.

Long considered a healthy and positive relationship, student interactions with the cat have recently been labelled negative by Karen Harley, President of the Wellington division of the Cats Protection League.

“We’ve come to discover that this delicious feline is suffering from what some might call ‘too much of a good thing’,” said Harley.

In research presented to the university by the League, the spine and cranium of the cat showed significant disfigurement, believed to be due to extensive, long-term patting by passer-by.

Also of concern to the League was the psychological damage due to the different personas the cat had been given over the years by various groups of students.

Students spoken to by Salient produced a number of names for the cat, including John, Buster, Fluffy, Nibbles, Meat-axe and Leondra.

“The poor precious doesn’t even know if he is male or female, let alone what personality he is meant to assume,” claimed Harley.

When called to by staff at Salient, John/Buster/Fluffy/Nibbles/Meat-axe/Leondra appeared to react in remarkably differently ways, rubbing sensually against the concrete wall when called to as Leondra, but acting significantly more aggressive and stand-offish when called to as Meat-axe.

The League has called for the university to introduce cat-patting guidelines as part of student policy, as it believes that John/Buster/Fluffy/Nibbles/Meat-axe/Leondra and other unidentified felines may be at significant risk from the well-meaning attention of the university’s students.

Well known and loved by many students at the university, John/Buster/Fluffy/Nibbles/Meat-axe/Leondra is particularly popular with those students who regularly use the pedestrian crossing near number 88, including Weir House and Everton Hall residents and students using the cable car.

Many students believe the cat possesses extraordinary levels of intelligence, and eyewitness accounts describe John/Buster/Fluffy/Nibbles/Meat-axe/Leondra using the pedestrian crossing alongside human pedestrians in order to reach the sunny spot across the road.

When contacted by Salient, the university had yet to decide how it would react to the concerns.

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