Remy the Cat is one of Harvard’s greatest purr-sonalities. This eight-calendar year-outdated orange tabby roams in look for of sunny windowsills, plush armchairs, and fawning admirers all in excess of campus, specifically around the (fairly inaptly named) Barker Heart. We questioned his owner, Sarah Watton, to reflect on Remy’s hero origin tale and his adventures around the decades. Remy himself did not react to a request for remark, so you are going to have to settle for these paparazzi pictures instead.
As a kitten, Remy was located at the rear of a dumpster in Medfield with his mom and five littermates. Sarah Watton imagined a pet could support her two young sons triumph over their fear of animals, and she had a distinct fondness for orange tabbies. She adopted Remy and his brother Gus from the shelter in September 2014. Nowadays, Remy and Gus are living with their (human) family members on Sacramento St., considerably less than a mile from campus.
When Watton first introduced the kittens dwelling, she tried out to confine them to one bed room although they acclimated to their new surroundings. Remy, on the other hand, managed to escape from the baby gate. He quickly started dashing out from doors still left ajar, leaving his owners to chase him down snow-piled streets in the center of winter season. His family members even tried out to wander him on a leash all-around the property, but after 6 months, they gave up and acknowledged that Remy was meant to be an outside cat. “He just experienced that wandering absolutely free spirit which was particularly clear from the starting,” Watton claims. “From the get-go, he was a cat you couldn’t comprise.”
When Remy started venturing into Harvard Property, Watton and her spouse and children ended up inundated with calls from passersby apprehensive that he was shed. “We could get 50 phone calls in a working day — morning, midday, evening, 2 a.m.,” Watton states. The calls have subsided now that Remy has become a recognizable figure on campus, and Watton has recorded a voicemail message for men and women contacting about him. But “even now, we can not distinct all the messages on our home cellphone,” she says.
Remy regularly leaves household for days or months at a time. “When he is residence, he mainly arrives in, eats a huge bowl of meals, goes into a person of [my sons’] beds or a sofa, sleeps for like 18 hrs, and then may well dangle close to for a little bit,” Watton says. “But right after about three times is his optimum ahead of he’s sitting down at the door, waiting to go.” Watton’s sons are delighted to very own a renowned Harvard cat, but they get to invest extra time with his “more conventional” brother Gus, who returns house with greater frequency. (Even though, Watton adds, Gus frequently roams around the Divinity School and has “a smaller but rising fanbase” of his personal.)
Watton describes “a few of epic cat-napping incidents” that Remy has endured. One particular time, a guy picked Remy up from Oxford St. and drove him absent to Roxbury, intending to give him to his girlfriend ahead of they recognized they could not maintain him inside. When Watton’s spouse went to choose Remy again up, he uncovered the cat equipment currently set up in their apartment.
In the summer months of 2018, Watton grew concerned when she hadn’t witnessed or heard from Remy in about a thirty day period. She posted fliers all about campus and even consulted a “cat whisperer” who tried to observe him down. Finally, she uncovered that a company situated about a 10-minute wander from their house experienced taken Remy in as their place of work pet. In order to prove she was his actual operator, she desired to travel one of the staff members to the vet’s office and get Remy’s microchip scanned. “He did not really want to give Remy back,” Watton states. “It’s just an indicator of how Remy is ready to ingratiate himself.”
Remy, much too, expended far more time at household through the pandemic. When the College substantially scaled down its on-campus operations, Watton says, “he was wandering around Harvard and couldn’t get into any structures. He actually suffered his personal mental anxieties, since in an instant his local community disappeared, and it took him a although to uncover his ground.”
The “Remy the Humanities Cat” Facebook website page is managed by Jessica Shires, the Heritage and Literature section administrator. Watton does not know who operates Remy’s Instagram account, although she generally checks it to hold monitor of his whereabouts. She is shocked to hear he has a Twitter and LinkedIn as effectively. She is even a lot more shocked to listen to about the rumors of Remy’s dying that swirled all-around Sidechat very last semester: “That’s mad!” “If he was at any time taken ill, I would certainly get the message out to his community,” she reassures.
“I’ve found inside of of several Harvard buildings and fulfilled lots of, a lot of men and women about the a long time by way of his wanderings,” Watton suggests. She’s talked to college students, college, administrators, and employees who’ve all encountered and adored Remy. He’s frequented dorm rooms, sneaked into basements, and attended several thesis defenses. People today have returned him back to Watton in their backpacks and the basket of their bicycles. He was as soon as showcased in a wedding day photograph taken on campus — “he’s sitting down in emphasis in front, and the bride and the groom are in the distance, form of blurred out.”
Watton states she’s amazed by the number of people today who fulfill Remy and instantaneously join with him. “He’s our cat, but he’s every little bit a cat that belongs to the Harvard neighborhood as effectively,” she claims. “And I think we’re down with that. It just took us a though to come about. But there was no way — you know, this was genuinely Remy’s will, not ours.”
— Journal Chair Sophia S. Liang can be arrived at at sophia[email protected]. Comply with her on Twitter @totalPHIAsco.