Watch CBS News

College awards popular campus cat with honorary "doctor of litter-ature" degree

New Jersey quintuplets graduate from same college
New Jersey quintuplets graduate from same college 01:27

A Vermont university has bestowed the honorary degree of "doctor of litter-ature" on Max the cat, a beloved member of its community, ahead of students' graduation on Saturday.

Vermont State University's Castleton campus is honoring the feline not for his mousing or napping, but for his friendliness.

"Max the Cat has been an affectionate member of the Castleton family for years," the school said in a Facebook post. The school also said the title entitles Max to "catnip perks, scratching post privileges, and litter box responsibilities." 

ODD Cat-Honorary Degree
In this photo provided by Vermont State University, students pet Max the Cat in front of Leavenworth Hall at Vermont State University Castleton on Oct. 12, 2023. Rob Franklin / AP

The popular tabby lives in a house with his human family on the street that leads to the main entrance to campus.

"So he decided that he would go up on campus, and he just started hanging out with the college students, and they love him," owner Ashley Dow said Thursday.

He's been socializing on campus for about four years, and students get excited when they see him. They pick him up and take selfies with him, and he even likes to go on tours with prospective students that meet at a building across from the family's house, she said.

ODD Cat-Honorary Degree
Max the Cat stands in front of Leavenworth Hall at Vermont State University Castleton.  Rob Franklin / AP

"I don't even know how he knows to go, but he does," Dow said. "And then he'll follow them on their tour."

The students refer to Dow as Max's mom, and graduates who return to town sometimes ask her how Max is doing.

Max won't be participating in the graduation, though. His degree will be delivered to Dow later.

ODD Cat-Honorary Degree
This photo provided by Vermont State University shows a special diploma for Max the Cat at Vermont State University Castleton. Rob Franklin / AP
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.