‘Doerak has entered his twilight years’, Ekko Ros, Doerak’s butler, explains. Doerak is a half Persian, half Maine Coon; both breeds are fairly susceptible to diseases. At nine years old, the university cat is no spring chicken. These days he prefers to stay at home sleeping, up to twenty hours a day. When he is awake, he prefers to hang out with his young companion, Tukkie.
Earlier this academic year, Doerak became an actual Instagram influencer. The account @university amassed seven thousand followers. In November, he was given his own RUG card so he could copy his paw prints for free.
Just like his fellow professors, Doerak is now a published author; his book Our campus, Their world, came out in February.
‘I’ll ask him some mornings if he shouldn’t be going to uni, but he just stares at me’, says Ros, laughing. ‘I asked him why he’s not going to class as much, and he responded that he’s retired. He’s learned everything there is to learn, so now he’s teaching Tukkie.’
In his nine years, Doerak has used up about eight of his nine lives: four because he kept falling off the roof. ‘Normal cats can turn around mid-air, but Doerak seems too lazy for that.’ Once he fell asleep under the hood of a car, and the driver didn’t realise until he was halfway to Haren.
The poofy professor attended all kinds of classes in his heyday. He learned alongside history students about the adventures of the Persian Persians. In art history class, he got to analyse artwork depicting his fellow felines. He usually just slept through his cat lit classes.
Earlier this year, Doerak found comfort in RUG students after his friend Mickey died. He used to play with Mickey in the parking lot behind the Harmonie building. ‘He’s really relaxed over the past eight months; we’re really grateful to the students for helping him. We unfortunately weren’t able to quit our jobs to take care of him’, says Ros.
But they realised the university cat was in need of a new friend. And since they got Tukkie, Doerak has really rallied. Ros and his wife hope that Doerak occasionally returns to the Harmonie building to say hi to the students who helped his through his period of mourning.