Denison needs to employ therapy cats

Emma Proe ‘23 is an international studies major from Shaker Heights, OH.

EMMA PROE, Special to The Denisonian—We all know and love the regular therapy dogs of Denison. They bring together all types of students including those who are burnt out, the ones missing their family pet, and the ones who just came to Slayter to work but will gladly take the distraction. But what about our resident cat lovers?

As a self-proclaimed cat person, I personally feel disappointed by the lack of cats on campus. I occasionally see that one black cat who can be spotted around Herrick or Bryant, but they are not enough to fill my cat needs. I attempt to give them my love, but they always end up running off despite my “pspspspspspsps.”

Other Ohio Five colleges are far ahead of Denison when it comes to cats. Oberlin College frequently offers therapy kittens while Kenyon College has its own campus cat, “Moxie.” If we are to truly be better than our rivals, then surely we need to offer substantial therapy pets.

One might suggest that I just go off campus to find cats. I could bother a friend with a car to go to the Licking County Humane Society. However, that would entail Venmoing gas money, crossing schedules, and other various nuisances. Not to mention, they close at four p.m. on weekends. As a broke student with little time to spare, my day would be greatly improved by a cat visit to campus.

Above all else, cats are just fantastic therapy animals. They overall have a very chill, nonchalant vibe that I need in my life. With piles of readings, essays, and presentations filling my and many others’ academic calendars, a calming presence would be very welcome. I love dogs, but purring has a much more therapeutic effect on me than barking. Whenever a cat chirps, I can’t help but think that I would die for them.

I think therapy cats have great potential for mindfulness events. During finals week Denison could copy the style of popular cat cafés, offering drinks and snacks in Slayter while students spend time with cats from the humane society. Or along with Denison’s regular therapy dogs, a regular group of kittens could be brought in, so students can have the weekly opportunity to see their favorite companions.

I strongly urge Denison to step up in this lack of cats, as I and many other cat-loving Denisonians would be ever appreciative. I envision a bright future for Denison that involves a break with furry friends catering to both our dog and cat lovers.

Emma Proe ‘23 is an international studies major from Shaker Heights, OH.

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