Cat-astrophe as Murray Edwards announces illness of college figure

Catherine Maguire 9 January 2015

As students gear up for the influx of emails from hastily-joined societies in Freshers’ Week, members of Murray Edwards received a rather different update from their college, namely that Jake, the College’s beloved cat, is poorly.

An email was circulated by the college’s Residences, Catering and Events manager, outlining – in considerable detail – the specificities of the feline’s malady.

Jake has been officially diagnosed with an overactive thyroid gland, meaning that an excess of the hormone thyroxine is produced, speeding up the body’s metabolism. The condition manifests itself in a variety of ways, notably weight loss and a poor, unkempt coat – the latter somewhat specific to felines.

To the disappointment of groundskeeping staff at the college, Jake’s condition has led to a delicate continence situation – or lack of it. As such, college members have been advised to ensure that Jake enters no building other than Pearl House.

It is unclear if Jake is aware of the events that are to befall him – oral medication to stablise his condition, followed by an operation to remove the gland entirely. Thankfully, Jake needn’t worry about the financial implications of treatment: members of the College have been ensured that Jake’s bills will be met by insurance payments. 

Nor need Jake preoccupy himself with his retirement plans. The email also outlines that "the care that Jake currently requires and needs post-operatively is not something that can be delivered consistently in his current environment and we are exploring a number of avenues that will enable him to receive the best possible care in his retirement."

Indeed, perhaps the most upsetting aspect of Jake’s treatment plan for the moggy involved is the imposition of a less colourful diet. College members have been warned to "refrain from offering him any treats, tidbits, and particularly milk as it is important that he has a settled, balanced diet to assist with controlling his symptoms".

Whilst Jake was unavailable for comment, second-year historian Anna, who self-defines as ‘not a cat person’, added that her feelings surrounding Jake’s illness and retirement are mixed. "I won't miss having to phone friends to help me remove him from my room at odd times of night (picking up the duvet is the best method) but it was always nice to have a companion when doing the laundry. If only he didn't follow you home."

The TCS team would like to wish Jake all the best for his upcoming treatment, and our warmest wishes for his retirement.