The story of George – the campus cat


by Alyssa Craven, Feature Editor

 George the cat is often seen on campus grounds and has become popular with Simpson students.

“He’s the campus cat,” Haley Rogers, a sophomore at Simpson, said. “Everyone knows he’s the campus cat. He’s always being petted.”

Claire Patin is the owner of eight-year-old cat, George, along with his younger cat brother, Bob, and a dog named Annie.

“More and more I hear people saying, ‘Hi George’ and I tell my dog, it’s all about George I guess,” Patin said.

George was a stray before Patin took him into her home.

“He showed up at our door when we lived up by Lake Aquabi State Park,” Patin said. “I had two other cats and two dogs at that time. He just showed up at the door wanting to come in with all my other animals.”

It was getting to be winter so Patin decided to let George into the house. She ended up keeping George permanently.

“He seemed so happy to have a home,” Patin said.

Patin moved to Indianola three years ago in the summer so there weren’t as many college students on campus. Patin thought George seemed lonely.

“When we moved to town three years ago, I was worried George wouldn’t have a playmate,” Patin said.

As school picked up in the fall, she knew she didn’t have to worry anymore.

“Then in the fall he started disappearing for hours at a time,” Patin said. “I had a tag on him and I started getting phone calls from Simpson students.”

Students were calling because they thought George was lost. Patin would go over to Simpson in order to bring him back home.

“I finally realized he knows where he is and he can come home on his own,” Patin said.

Patin still gets phone calls around fall time, usually from new students, thinking George is lost. Patin had about five phone calls this year stating she usually gets more.

“One of them said he was down by the tennis courts and saw my phone number on it,” said Patin. “They said she looks kind of pregnant. I thought they must not have seen his name tag to see he was named George.”

About a week later, Patin got a call from another student stating George was down at Buxton. The caller also mentioned George looked really pregnant.

“I was like, George, we have to do something about this honey,” Patin said.

Patin has taken steps to try and get George’s weight down.

“He’s chunky,” Patin said. “I have him on weight management cat food. But I think the students must be feeding him something because it’s not working too well. He’s not losing any weight.”

It may not just be the student’s fault for George’s weight.

“There’s a lady down the street that’s got cats and George was over there eating food with her cats,” Patin said.

Patin states that George’s favorite food is ice cream. He likes to lick the bowl after Patin eats her ice cream.

Despite all of George’s antics in order to get food, Patin states Bob is the more mischievous cat.

“[If] Somebody’s in the kitchen on the counter, it’s Bob,” Patin said. “[If] I come in the kitchen and somebody has been eating the butter, it’s Bob. I always know it’s Bob. George is the good kitty.”

George does do a few things to try and keep active.

“About once a month he walks with me and the dog,” Patin said. “Occasionally the younger cat, Bob, goes too. So, the four of us are walking around Buxton or Simpson campus together.”

Bob and George tend to get sidetracked easily so Patin says it’s a slower walk than usual.

“I’m very happy he’s found friends at Simpson. I think it’s a great place for him to live and I would think twice about moving because I want George to have other people,” Patin said.

A typical day for George consists of him getting up at 5 a.m. and meowing for food. After breakfast he goes over to Simpson. He comes back home later and looks out the window and eats his supper. Then George goes back to Simpson campus to see the students. George comes home every night, sometimes after dark.

“I’m so glad the students enjoy, appreciate, and take care of him,” said Patin. “He doesn’t like being confined to the house. He’s very social.”