Rudy the Campus Cat

2014-10-29 17.24.05By Kelsey Hehir

Southern Maine Community College’s mascot is the Seawolf; but many would say our real mascot is Rudy, the campus cat. Rudy is the famous cat that can be seen roaming the campus grounds any time of day. Kevin Sweeney; who has been an English professor here at SMCC for the past 32 years is the actual owner and caregiver of Rudy. Twelve years ago, Kevin found Rudy as a stray kitten who would visit his house regularly.

Kevin called the shelter to ask if Rudy was a lost cat after some time. When he found out Rudy was not a lost cat, he adopted him with his wife and got him all of his shots to make sure that he was healthy. Rudy started going outside often and made it a habit to play with all the neighborhood cats. When spring arrived somehow Rudy vanished from Mr. Sweeney’s property and was seemingly lost.

Professor Sweeney got worried and started asking people if they had seen a missing cat on campus. Kevin went to the Tech building and found out that there had been a couple of reports of a missing cat.

Mr. Sweeney called the shelter to see if someone turned in Rudy after hearing about a missing cat report. The shelter told him that a girl had called in saying that she had found a cat at SMCC at night and took him home because she thought he was a stray. Unfortunately the girl did not leave her name or any information except for that she worked at the SMCC.

Mr. Sweeney decided to investigate and asked all around campus if anyone had seen Rudy, including students in his classes. The girl that ended up taking Rudy was in the one class Mr. Sweeney did not ask. Eventually the girl contacted Mr. Sweeney and told him that she was the finder of Rudy. They ended up meeting half way from the mall and Rudy was returned back.

After this incident of Rudy roaming around campus at night, it became a regular visit of his and he started coming back to campus daily. Mr. Sweeney would get calls saying that Rudy was walking on the beach and everyone knew Rudy by then. People would see him at the beach and the lighthouse constantly. Rudy originally lived with his family anywhere from May and August. The latest he has stayed on campus is December 20th.
If it snows Rudy will stay at home and not come to campus. Rudy started coming to campus daily since he was one year old sleeping over at the security office at night by himself. Rudy is an adventurous cat, being that he has run away multiple times. One night Rudy went missing and the next day he was reported in Free Port Gardener and was kept at Animal Control in Brunswick.

Now Rudy has a chip in his back so whenever he goes missing his owner can track him down to see where he is located. If you ever see this fluffy little cat on campus make sure to pet him and say hello. Rudy loves this campus and everyone on it. But remember Rudy has a home that he always returns to and so we should all try to make this a safe home away from home for him.

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