The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

OPINION | Cat Got Our Tongue?

OPINION | Cat Got Our Tongue?

We’ve all heard the expression that a cat has nine lives. As a precaution, Bates EMS would like to remind me that despite our status as Bates Bobcats, we should not engage in risky behavior to try and test this hypothesis; EMS really doesn’t want to actually have to use their super cool accessories. Sorry. I mean walkie-talkies. (Sincerely though, thank you Bates EMS for all that you do.) But one has to admire the commitment that Bates has to imbuing the spirit of cattitude into every aspect of campus life. There’s not enough room to swing a cat without finding some campus institution with a cat-related component to it. Perhaps you haven’t noticed it but let me let the cat out of the bag. I present: an evaluation of the cat-centric nomenclature we boast here at Bates College!

It’s one thing to endearingly (patronizingly?) refer to our new teensy-tiny-baby first years (39 burly football players) from the class of 2027 as Bobkittens. It is another thing entirely to attempt to brand steamed beets as Bobcat Beets. They do not look like bobcats. As far as I know, they are not supposed to taste like bobcats. And according to the internet when I Googled “Do bobcats eat beets?”, a very disturbing video of bobcats killing assorted smaller mammals indicates that beets are not typically in a wild bobcat’s diet. In Commons, however, it appears that beets are open season. That being said, I seldom see any of our Bates Bobcats chowing down on them. Go figure.

When a Bates student goes to print, do they access our incredible free printing services via BatesPrint or Student_Printer_Services. Of course not. Why should we stray from our feline fixation even for a task as menial as printing out papers? Why sacrifice our Bates identity to gain a physical copy of a PDF? Thank goodness these aren’t questions we have to answer, thanks to PaperCat. Perhaps a wittier rendition of our printing apparatus could have dubbed it CopyCat, but it’s not about wit. It’s about cats. And I suppose when it comes to naming college-wide printer systems, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

For those desiring a comfier place for their afternoon catnaps and nighttime snoozes, of course, there’s CozyCat, which empowers students to expand their Twin XL beds. This is cute, not a huge reach, and has a delicate splash of alliteration that’s both inviting and apt. Furthermore, as a proud member of the SWLC myself, I have to give the PLC the nod for the course-attached-tutor (CAT) abbreviation it embraces. Class CATs provide both wonderful academic support and utilize Bobcat phraseology well. That being said, explaining that you are “the CAT for a class” has the potential to confuse parents, outside-of-Bates-friends and potential employers, some of whom may assume that your liberal arts education has descended into a study of Furry culture. 

Lastly, as someone who attended BatesChella and thoroughly enjoyed the array of pizza, ice cream, inflatable slides and sporadically alternating twenty-second snippets of songs, Campus Activities and Traditions (CAT) has my utmost appreciation and support. I imagine that facilitating events like BatesChella and Gala can be quite literally akin to herding cats; their efforts to provide safe, engaging and fun diversions is so integral to our campus mission of inclusivity. Thank goodness they represent this – not as DOG, COW, or heaven forbid, MULE or BEAR, but as CAT. 

When all is said and done, though I may poke fun at the sheer abundance of cat-related titles here at Bates, it’s good to be a Bobcat, whether they’re serving Bobcat Beets in commons or not. From the sunniest, crispest fall days to when it’s raining cats and dogs, there’s still nowhere else I’d rather be, despite the fact that it’s rumored that the chemistry department requires Chem 107 students to describe certain components of experiments as CATalysts. Only at Bates (and, I guess, the many other colleges and universities with feline mascots) can you sit in the dining hall and people-watch, exclaiming “look what the cat dragged in!” and really mean it. But all of those other schools definitely don’t have the same kind of kind-hearted community, and they definitely don’t have commons. So, if part of the price we pay (aside from, you know, the obscene tuition) for this unique place is an overuse of cat references, so be it. It’s still the cat’s meow. 

 

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About the Contributor
Inez Johnson
Inez Johnson, Assistant Forum Editor

Inez is a junior hailing from Dallas, Texas double majoring in Politics and Sociology, and minoring in Hispanic Studies. When she isn’t unleashing her opinions in the Student, you’ll find her running cross country and track, listening to Taylor Swift and putting extra sprinkles on her commons soft serve.

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  • B

    BrendaOct 9, 2023 at 10:51 AM

    The company that makes the printing software is named PaperCut, that one was such low hanging fruit, how could we not rebrand to PaperCat?!

    Reply
  • K

    Katie JohnsonOct 8, 2023 at 10:14 PM

    Shooting for “Crazy Cat Lady” pen name?

    Reply