University cat to get a Student ID card

Doerak the cat hangs around the Harmony Building so much that he’s basically a RUG student at this point. That’s why his owner appealed for Doerak to get his very own student card – successfully.
By Sara Penguião

If you’re a student at the RUG then you have surely heard about Doerak, the beloved university cat. He is always slinking around the Harmonie Building waiting for students to pet him. Doerak has his own Instagram account where you can follow what he has been up to.

On Monday, Doerak’s owner Ekko Ros appealed for a student ID in the cat’s name on Instagram. In little more than twenty four hours, Doerak got his answer: his plea for the same rights as his fellow university cats around the world was a success.

Loved by students and staff

‘I am surprised’, Ros admits. ‘I think it’s funny how the University has responded to the request. We knew that Doerak was loved by students and staff, and this is a very funny confirmation. Now he can tell his friends at others universities he has his own student ID, too.’

Ros researched the lives of university cats worldwide and discovered that a bunch of them already have their very own student cards.

Take a look at the other university cats around the world:

Carlton the cat was given is own student card by Saint Mary University in Nova Scotia, Canada (and he, too, has an Instagram page).

So did Pebbles the university cat from Essex in England (Pebbles prefers Twitter over Instagram)…

… and Bubba, who goes to Leland High School in San José, California. (you can find Bubba on his own Facebook page).

Support for the cause

Students have shown their support for the cause by commenting Doerak’s Instagram appeal and asking the University of Groningen to give the university cat a student card. That was no surprise, says Ros; he knows his pet means a lot to the RUG community.

‘He reminds students of their own pets. Lots of students have a cat at their parents’place, but not in their student rooms.’ Ros thinks Doerak also plays an important role in reminding students that while ambition may be important, it’s also fine to be lazy. ‘Doerak sleep 75 percent of the day, he has zero ambitions, and that’s ok. When a stressed-out student sees him, it puts everything in perspective.’

After some deliberation, the RUG decided to grant Doerak’s wish. Jorien Bakker, the university spokesperson, says: ‘We think it’s a funny idea. Doerak is a sweet cat. I guess we are doing it because he performs well as a student. And we really appreciate what he means to the students and staff.’

Why does Doerak want a student ID card?

  • I would like to see the time tables for courses, so I know when and where they teach International Fluffy Languages
  • I spend more time at the University than any other student: I arrive at 7 a.m and leave late in the evening. I even visit the University when it’s closed for holidays or weekends
  • I have just been studying for a couple of months, and already they call me Professor Cuddles
  • I have no idea when the University of Groningen is closed so I often sit in front of the entrance during the weekend.
  • I would like to borrow a fluffy book from the University Library and need a Student ID for this.
  • I like tea (with milk of course) but need a Student ID to use the tea machine
  • I would like to use the photocopiers to make copies of my paws, to give to my student friends
  • I have made hundreds of selfies to create the perfect photo to upload
  • My cat-colleagues at other universities don’t believe I am a student because I have no Student ID
  • I like ping-pong balls so I want to join the Groninger table tennis club for students. I need a Student ID for this.
  • I always sit in the front row and I’m awake for at least 50 percent of the time (okay, maybe 25 percent of the time…)


13 November 2018 | 13-11-2018, 16:50