Diva Doerak has paws full with fans

Doerak posing it up for the camera. Photo: Sylvia Germes

Visitors from all over the world

Doerak has paws full with fans

Every day, fans from all over the world request a meet and greet with Prof. Dr. Doerak. Once a week, a happy fan is selected to meet the cat in person. That is, if Doerak is up for it.
By Giulia Fabrizi / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen
17 September om 9:47 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:17 uur.
September 17 at 9:47 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:17 PM.

The requests come in mainly through Instagram, where Doerak currently has 7,607 followers. ‘Most requests are from students, especially internationals, who started following Doerak’s account before they even came to Groningen’, says Doerak’s owner Ekko Ros. ‘But there are also tourists who want a meet and greet. Like three days ago, when a Canadian family came to Groningen. They’d been following him for eighteen months.’

Initially, most students try to locate Doerak themselves. ‘They’ll scour the Harmonie quad, sometimes several times a week. When they can’t find him, they ask us for help’, says Ros. ‘Some of them have really amazing and funny stories. Like the students from Thailand, who had two goals to achieve in their first week here: to bike to Zernike and to meet Doerak.’

The Groningen university cat is so popular that Ros could be organising meet and greets every day. ‘But we decided to limit it to once a week’, he says. This is in part due to the work it takes to organise them, but also because Doerak isn’t always in the mood for people. ‘I’ve had to carry a ladder over to the Harmonie building once or twice because Doerak was on the roof’, says Ros. ‘We’ll try to lure him with this type of liquid candy we were given by Rolf, a university cat from England.’

But when Doerak truly isn’t in the mood, no candy will get him to come over. ‘It doesn’t matter if someone has come over all the way from Bangkok. He’ll only come when he wants to. That can be a bit awkward’, says Ros. To mitigate people’s disappointment, they created a Doerak goodie bag. ‘We hand it out approximately once every two weeks. Just to thank people for their efforts to meet Doerak and to give them at least something when he’s decided he doesn’t want any visitors.’

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