News - October 6, 2016

Student house cats

Linda van der Nat

Some of them have been in the house longer than the oldest human resident. They attend parties or go along to the pub. And thanks to international fans their fame crosses borders. Meet some of Wageningen’s distinguished student house cats.

Photos Remo Wormmeester


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The white lion king is Manny’s nickname. The Turkish Angora cat is a familiar part of Wageningen nightlife, as the tom with the blue-green eyes is a regular at De Zaaier café on the Heerenstraat, below the flat where he lives. He often chills out on the terrace too. Manny came from a cat rescue centre, he loves his food and is always in for a good party. His picture features on a flyer for a party that graces the wall of many a student house. One of Manny’s friends, Daan Rademaker from Bennekom, even has a tattoo of Manny’s distinctive head.


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Puki is old. Quite how old, none of the current residents knows, because Puki has been living at Droevendaal 93 longer than any of them. She sleeps most of the day, changing her favourite spot every two weeks. She hardly ever goes out of doors. And yet her fame crosses borders, thanks to the many international residents at Droef, who have spread the love of this patchwork cat in their home countries. Apparently a Greek band even wrote a song about Puki: Puki has fleas. Actually Puki hasn’t had fleas for months now, the owners inform us.


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She doesn’t catch mice and if it rains she has been know to poo indoors because she doesn’t want to go outside. Octopoezzie is a lazy cat. She doesn’t do anything much except eat and be cuddled by residents of Droevendaal 79. Octopoezzie is well-known to most of the members of athletics club Tartélos. Not that they’ve ever seen her, but because her name features in an official club song that new members have to sing at the start of the sporting year. The students in the house where she lives are all members of the athletics club and they enjoyed immortalizing her in music.

‘Barry’ the Haarweg cat

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Nearly everyone at the Haarweg knows Barry. The tom cat ‘lives’ there, although he doesn’t belong to anyone. Barry is his own boss. He comes and goes as he pleases and knows the way to the student kitchens where cat food and water are waiting for him. What he likes best is lazing about on window sills, in the bike shed or in the middle of the road in front of the building. He goes by various names, the best-known of which is Barry, but he started out as Tijgertje. But that was in a previous incarnation when he was alumna Mirjan Tolkamp’s cat and lived in the middle of Wageningen. Already then, he used to run away to the Haarweg and after a move in 2009, Tolkamp resigned herself to his preferred choice of ‘home’. If you want to know what Barry’s up to you can have a look on his own Facebook page: ‘Barry de Haarwegkat’.