It wasn’t long ago that a celebrity cat roamed — some might say owned — the campus. Some called him Gray, but most knew him simply as the GGC Cat.
He occupied a kind of outdoor palace by the library, fit with a kitty condo, a water dispenser, and a rainbow-colored wind spinner.
When he wasn’t lounging on his shady stone slab, he was busy soliciting chin rubs from an entourage of adoring students. He was, without much hyperbole, a celebrity on campus.
This is further evidenced by the fact that he maintains an Instagram following that equals nearly one-tenth of the student population — more than 1100 followers.
It would be only half true to say that he is on to bigger and better things: his days in the sun have now passed, but he is set for a better life, or at least one more fitting for a cat.
Who was the GGC Cat?
On Aug. 7, Jakcob Zelaya, a sophomore majoring in film and the curator of the GGC Cat Instagram page, posted a story with the following message: “I have been adopted! Thank you everyone for the love and support.”
Many students worried when they noticed that the Cat’s outdoor palace had become suddenly vacant.
They didn’t have to peak under the bush or peer inside the kitty condo — they could see from a distance that the crowd was gone, that the entourage had dispersed, that the GGC Cat was not there.
“It was ridiculous the amount of messages I received,” Zelaya said. “I had to put my phone on silent because it was just overwhelming. . . . Everyone was hurting and concerned.”
The GGC Cat provided a “safe space” for students and faculty alike, Zelaya said.
“College can be a stressful time for people. He offered comfort and a way for people to forget about that test they just took or the project that they have due next week.”
Where is he now?
The GGC Cat was picked up by Planned PEThood of Georgia, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to mitigate the overpopulation of community cats. Their Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program spays and neuters cats and then returns them to the community from which they came.
But, in this case, the GGC Cat will not be returning to campus.
Zelaya posted a screenshot of a message from the TNR Coordinator, Jeanie Wampler. “I have found a wonderful home for Gray,” she wrote. “[A] friendly couple wants a cat, and he fits the bill!”
“Everything must come to an end,” Zelaya said, “and while it’s a sad one for the students who looked forward to seeing him everyday, I know that he’s happy in a cozy home.”
His new owners probably call him Gray, but to everyone here at GGC, he will forever be known as the GGC Cat.