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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

An Ode to Rahner Cat: How a Pet Brightens a Day

An Ode to Rahner Cat: How a Pet Brightens a Day

If a student were to walk through the gates of Gallagher Court, there is a chance that they would hear a gentle jingle come their way. Accompanying this sound would be a sauntering feline—its pink ears, spotted white fur and chiming dark collar coming to rub up against its new patron. If shown love, Rahner Cat will gladly follow its friend back to their porch, show its outstretched belly and beg for a steady supply of pets and scratches.

For some students, Rahner Cat provides that warm welcome home that is necessary after a long day on campus. A pseudo-doorman, this neighborhood pet is always there to receive guests with an approachable “meow.”

Peter Hope ’23 said, “Honestly it just makes my day. I actually have several videos on my phone of me playing with the Rahner cat. I’ll just be walking and I’ll be like ‘Oh my God, there it is!’”  

Students say one of the more lovable qualities of Rahner Cat is its ambiguity. Everyone who interacts with the cat assigns it some sort of new background or lore. Because no one truly knows the origins or identity of Rahner Cat, its malleable identity helps students create a deeper connection with the pet.  

Its character is entirely adaptable to the person, place, and situation. Rahner Cat has the ability to be whatever it needs to be in any given situation.

“I’ve heard it called Betsy, some people just call it the Rahner cat—I’ve heard it called Mayo. But, they go by all pronouns, gender identities, I don’t want to assume,” Becca Grunski ’23 said.

For all of its friendliness and amicability, Rahner Cat can also strike fear into the hearts of Village seniors. During Halloween weekend, the feline exemplified all those ghastly aspects of All Hallows’ Eve.

Draped in a black-clad outfit by its owners, Rahner Cat scampered through the Village like a trick-or-treater looking for sweets.

Marissa Sullivan ’23 said, “On Halloween night the white Rahner cat was dressed in his Halloween costume. He emerged from the shadows having transformed into a black coat and stared at me with his glowing yellow eyes.”

Students in Rahner are generally not allowed to keep pets in their residences, depriving them of some of the comforts they have at home. For many, they miss the reassuring affection an animal can provide. Rahner Cat, owned by a non-Loyola family in the Village, then provides an outlet for students to have that connection they are missing.

Care for the Rahner Cat is deep-seated, with students treating the animal as one of their own. Students do their part by going to the store for cat treats or ensuring the gate closes so that the cat can’t get onto the street: all in attendance to their friend’s needs.

“It’s just like a piece of home, having an animal on campus. It’s a stress reliever. I just worry about its safety, we live by busy roads,” said Sophie Manuel ’23.

As the semester comes to a close, students look forward to seeing their pets at home, but also anticipate seeing Rahner Cat upon their return.


Featured Image courtesy of Jeremy Ahearn.

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An Ode to Rahner Cat: How a Pet Brightens a Day