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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

A Brief (but Lovely) Encounter with Lyman the Cat

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On a windy Sunday night during Fall Break, I walked out of the LDC from a content meal with my friends. I thought I knew what happiness was – cookies and hot chocolate and the promise of sleeping in tomorrow morning and no classes on Monday – but it turns out my happiness was incomplete.

Walking up to Myers, I took my time to enjoy the crisp fall air and the approximately three leaves left on each tree after the wind had whisked most of them away. The pitter patter of my moccasins on the concrete was a comforting sound as I meandered towards that glowing, semi-disheartening light that is Myers’ entrance.

As I got closer, I noticed what I thought was probably the 500th squirrel I had seen that day, but as I looked again, I noticed that no, this was not just another chubby and weirdly arrogant squirrel, this was Lyman the cat.

I had heard of Lyman wandering around the East side of campus, and a friend had even confirmed that she got to cuddle with him one stressful school night when she happened upon him in first Myers lounge. But to behold Lyman with your own eyes is an entirely different experience than hearing whispered rumors about his whereabouts.

Now, I am most definitely not a cat person. I think that any cat would most definitely kill me if it really had the motivation to. Plus, I’m mildly allergic. But as a college student, I am so deprived of animal contact that I knew I would risk sneezing like a maniac and having puffy eyes for twelve hours just to pet Lyman.

I approached him with caution. (Remember: I’m not a cat person. I’m also afraid of getting my eyes/flesh clawed out/off.) But Lyman was so nice! He let me pet him and rubbed himself on my shins in that cute way that cats do.

But I should have known that there was an ulterior motive to his kindness. As soon as I straightened up from petting him, he sauntered right over to the door and let out a demanding “mew.” The night was chilly, and he knew that I could be easily roped in to letting him in to First Myers.

Which, honestly, was a totally correct assumption on his part. Here you go, Lyman, just walk on in. I let him in the door and he scampered away to perch on a chair, no longer interested in my affection now that he had gotten what he came for.


But as soon as he scampered away, I panicked. Was it okay that I let Lyman into Myers? What if other people were more allergic than I was and less desperate for animal affection and not willing to take a Benadryl just to pet a cat? Who would let him out? Would he just sit there nicely or was he going to cause a ruckus? I consulted all my closest advisers and they assured me that it was perfectly alright to let him into Myers, and that I should walk away and leave him be. Which I did. And that was how the encounter ended. Albeit a brief one, it was an experience I shall treasure/look back on with some anxiety for the rest of my life.

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