Students at the arts faculty of the University of Groningen have a new cuddly mascot: Doerak, the “University Cat”.
Translation by Traci White
Doerak, whose owner lives near the Harmonie Complex in the city centre, is a seven-year-old half Persian, half Maine Coone cat who has been spotted hanging out on student’s laps in recent months.
His owner, Ekko Ros, says that he thinks Doerak has sought out extra affection from the university students since his other cat, Mickey, died over the summer: Ros told Dagblad van het Noorden that he believes Doerak has been looking for Mickey near the university, and he has found plenty of love and ear scratches awaiting him.
Doerak is especially popular among female students, Ros says. He kept track of how many times his pet cat was petted by students in a single day and lost count after the hundredth student-and-cat encounter.
In response to concern from the students who have fallen in love with Doerak, Ros has made an Instagram account for his pet – @universitycat – to inform people that he is no stray. The account launched in mid-September and already has nearly 700 followers. Ros has also bought Doerak a collar with “University Cat” written on it to help identify him.
Doerak’s urge to seek affection is a normal part of a cat’s mourning process after the death of another cat they live with. In comments to the Dagblad, a veterinarian said that cats can be in mourning for up to six months after suffering such a loss. Ros says that it seems like Doerak is doing much better nowadays thanks to plenty of belly rubs, sunny naps and even the occasional visit to a lecture hall.