- Kasey Meyer
Purr-spectives of Cats at Lyon
Lyon College proudly boasts itself as the only pet friendly campus in Arkansas. To highlight this special aspect of life at Lyon College, a few pet and emotional support animal (ESA) owners provided stories of their experiences in having a furry friend with them through their college adventures. Though dogs are prominent on campus, no dog owners provided an interview for the Highlander.
The first interviewees were junior Mark Brill and his orange feline Ronald. Mark cited his being a resident assistant as a major factor in his decision to move Ron on campus. Ron also “expressed interest in furthering his education and felt that Lyon was a good fit for him.” It is unclear as to what exactly Ron is studying. Mark remarked that he likes having Ron on campus since he is good for Mark’s mental health due to the “sense of safety he gives is very comforting, I know if someone were to get into my room they would IMMEDIATELY be met by his chunky fluffy fur. It’s also nice because he has a lot of good insight when I’m venting to him about classes and really calms me down.” Mark’s favorite memory of Ron on campus was when some of his fraternity brothers came into his room while he was away at a cross country meet and sent him a bunch of photos of the brothers playing with and petting Ron.
Freshman Dave Hefner next provided its story of having a cat on campus. Dave began by saying, “Kevin's my best friend, and he's also been a really good way for me to make new friends. Cats are great conversation starters. It's great to come back to my dorm and have a little guy waiting to see me.” Kevin, a grey and white shorthair, is apparently very calm and relaxed, so the decision to bring Kevin to campus was an easy one. Kevin and Dave have been in each other’s lives for about six years. Like Mark, Dave remarked that the companionship Kevin provides it is the best part of having an animal on campus. Dave did not have Kevin its first few weeks on campus and stated that he felt alone without Kevin. Dave concluded our interview with the memory of when it put Kevin “in some spooky jammies and he watched John Carpenter's Vampires with me and some friends.”
Sophomore Lillie Hall next provided her story of having her ESA, Toretto, on campus. Toretto is a handsome tabby who is “a chill boy who just loves belly rubs.” Lillie states that having Toretto is “like the best roommate you could imagine.” Lillie also described the experience of returning to her room and seeing Toretto who is just as happy to see her as she is to see him. Lillie’s decision to bring Toretto on campus was to better her overall being. According to Lillie, Toretto not only provides her with emotional support, but also to those around her.
The animal owners had some insight to give to those considering registering an animal on campus.
Mark and Ron- “My advice if someone wants to bring a cat is to have lots of toys and get some curtains, within the first week of being on campus. Since Ron chewed up and messed up the blinds.”
Dave and Kevin- “Just be patient, don't try to sneak a creature under the table.”
Lillie and Toretto- “To have a legal pet/ESA on campus all you need to do is talk to admin and housing. The process is not difficult at all.”
Below are some photographs of the cats provided by their respective humans.
Ron (photo provided by Mark Brill)
Kevin (photo provided by Dave Hefner)
Toretto (photo provided by Lillie Hall)