Rudy the cat makes himself at home on the campus Southern Maine Community College. Every morning he trots by a spectacular view of Casco Bay and rushes into the student center among the coeds. He makes his daily rounds soaking up the attention of several thousand students and staff. When he wants to nap he slips noiselessly into offices like the fog in Carl Sandburg’s poem and finds a comfy spot. Everyone knows Rudy. When classes are not in session Rudy wanders anxiously about, desperate to find his missing friends. During holidays, he’ll make a beeline to anyone who happens to be on campus and will become an immediate buddy.
This fall Rudy was missing for three days, and his owner, an SMCC staff member, started asking around campus for his whereabouts. Within moments the buzz flew through the college community. “Have you seen Rudy?” All-points bulletins flew over the Internet via e-mails with the subjects, “Rudy’s missing” and “Have you seen Rudy?” Instant Messaging also helped spread the word. His disappearance became a part of every conversation in classes, offices, and maintenance facilities. Everyone was looking for their missing friend, Rudy.
The next day one of the SMMC’s vigilant commuter students, on his way to school, happened to spot Rudy near a Mom & Pop store about a mile from campus. The student stopped his car, grabbed Rudy, and a few minutes later deposited him on campus. Whew! A collective sigh of relief spread through classes, administration meetings, and faculty offices. “Rudy’s been found!” exclaimed the Vice-president of the college.
Later that afternoon, my husband, Greg, a faculty member, was concentrating on a phone conversation in his office with his back to the door, when Rudy quietly walked into his office. The friendly cat, tired from his adventure and all the attention, jumped onto Greg’s desk, sprawled out across the immaculately arranged quilt work of papers, and settled in for a nap.
Maine Warmers Newsletter December 2006 – Snippets