ODD Cat-Honorary Degree

This photo provided by Vermont State University shows Max the Cat standing in front of Woodruff Hall at Vermont State University Castleton on Oct. 12, 2023, in Castleton, Vt. Vermont State University’s Castleton campus has bestowed the title of “Doctor of Litter-ature” on Max, a beloved member of its community, ahead of students’ graduation on Saturday. The school is not honoring the feline for his mousing or napping but rather for friendliness. Rob Franklin/Vermont State University via Associated Press file

CASTLETON, Vt. — A Vermont university has bestowed the honorary degree of “doctor of litter-ature” on Max the cat, a beloved member of its community, ahead of students’ graduation on Saturday.

Vermont State University’s Castleton campus is honoring the feline not for his mousing or napping, but for his friendliness.

“Max the Cat has been an affectionate member of the Castleton family for years,” the school said in a Facebook post.

The popular tabby lives in a house with his human family on the street that leads to the main entrance to campus.

“So he decided that he would go up on campus, and he just started hanging out with the college students, and they love him,” owner Ashley Dow said Thursday.

He’s been socializing on campus for about four years, and students get excited when they see him. They pick him up and take selfies with him, and he even likes to go on tours with prospective students who meet at a building across from the family’s house, she said.

“I don’t even know how he knows to go, but he does,” Dow said. “And then he’ll follow them on their tour.”

The students refer to Dow as Max’s mom, and graduates who return to town sometimes ask her how Max is doing.

Max won’t be participating in the graduation, though. His degree will be delivered to Dow later.


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