Satire: Wonk Cat takes semester off to backpack through Europe
Campus’s only feline resident defers for a semester after classes go online
The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.
After American University announced its decision to conduct classes exclusively online, AU’s only feline resident decided to take a semester off to do something she had always dreamed of: backpack through Europe.
“It’s hard to use Zoom when you have paws,” Wonk Cat said, from a hostel in the south of France. “So I decided to spend the semester exploring Europe.”
Wonk Cat’s decision comes after weeks of deliberation. “At first I thought it’d be nice to be on campus with fewer students — fewer people to take pictures of me at all hours of the day,” Wonk Cat said. “Think about it: Would you like a constant stream of people interrupting your afternoon nap to take pictures for their Instagram story? I don’t think so!”
However, Wonk Cat quickly realized that any contact with students had the potential to be fatal. “With all the petting I’m normally subjected to on a daily basis, my fur could’ve been a vector for the coronavirus,” Wonk Cat said. “Can cats get COVID-19? I don’t know, but I knew I didn’t want to be the first one to find out!”
Asked about the dangers of contracting COVID-19 abroad, Wonk Cat burst out laughing. “You think I’m safer in the U.S.?! I’m so glad to be out of the country and on a continent where they value public health.”
Wonk Cat also explained that part of her decision to take time off came from her experience with online classes last spring. “Like I said, Zoom isn’t calibrated for cats. I could never get the camera to just show my face and not my tail if I hadn’t groomed it that day,” she said. “And don’t even get me started on Blackboard. You’d think by now more learning management systems would be feline-compatible.”
Wonk Cat added that she has high hopes that the University’s transition to Canvas will make it easier for her to return to academic life next semester.
Owen Boice is a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs and a satire columnist at The Eagle.