STA’s campus cat

Truman: the cat’s meow.


Truman blissfully chills on campus. photo courtesy of Sophia Bunch

by Hannah Jirousek, Staff Writer

St. Teresa’s feline friend Truman, dubbed “campus cat”, began showing up on the quad during the spring of the 2015-16 school year and has arrived back with the rest of the student body this fall.

Truman, the outdoor, orange tabby owned by Marty Wall and Joanie Alderman, lives in the STA neighborhood, often wandering onto campus grounds. His frequent visits have made him a local celebrity, proving both students and faculty fond of his occasional and iconic appearances.

“Whenever a kitty cat shows up anywhere on campus, inevitably, [students] come to me asking, ‘Montag, have you seen the cat?!’” science teacher and avid cat lover Mary Montag said.

“[Truman] is just sweet and precious, and naturally there are always three or four girls standing around him,” Montag said. “Every single student that came along, Truman walked up to and visited.”

Truman not only enjoys meeting students, but also exploring the greater metropolitan area, sometimes even by car.

“By far [Truman’s] most famous ‘jump in the car’ story was when he was gone for a week and I had posted flyers at the pet store, grocery store […] and had almost given up. We wandered all through the neighborhood and called him. And then we got a call one morning from Wayside Waifs, a pet shelter,” recalls Wall. “He was found wandering down Main Street in Belton. Someone picked him up and took him to the police station, and the police took him to animal control, and animal control took him to Wayside Waifs.”

It is thought that Truman, based on his history of getting into neighbor’s cars, found his way into a service or delivery truck of some kind that ended up in Belton. Wall figures that Truman was about “22 kitty miles from home” and is a “cat with a wandering jones.”

Despite Truman’s extensive history of travel and celebrity, it is estimated that he is only about a year to a year and a half old, found in Kansas City, KS by a friend of Wall and Alderman.

Truman is known to be very friendly and comfortable with humans, even going on walks with his owners, but he also has an independent streak.

“Truman wants to be around people, he just kind of keeps his distance,” Wall notes. “He goes up to St. Teresa’s, I’m convinced, because there are people up there. He wants to be around people. He’s very social.”

The St. Teresa’s community greatly enjoys Truman’s presence, even recently creating an Instagram account dedicated in his honor.

“We’re very happy to share Truman,” says Wall, “Since he likes people so much, why not?”