Concern has been raised by Mansfield students over the welfare of their college cat, Erasmus, over the course of the long vacation. It is uncertain who will feed him.
The age and origins of Erasmus are unknown, but the feline friend appeared at Mansfield several years ago and since then has become a regular part of college life. The cat currently serves as Mansfield’s Cat Rep and has an online profile on the JCR’s website, as well as his own Facebook page.
According to Mansfield JCR website “Erasmus’ position as Cat Rep covers many roles and responsibilities ranging from biting people to sitting on top of you as you try to write an essay. He is also known to show affection at times, but any evidence of this is purely anecdotal.”
However, concerns have been raised about how he will be fed over summer. Recently the JCR website posted a notice asking students to donate food to keep him sustained over the long vacation.
Natassia Dhanraj, a second year theologian at Mansfield, told Cherwell “I think perhaps there’s a yearly cycle of him getting thin over the summer months when students aren’t there to feed him. I, along with other people in the college, am looking into ways to encourage students to buy food for him. I usually spend about £20 a term on my own feeding him in my room – he eats a hell of a lot and is bigger than a lot of dogs.”
Dhanraj continued “He is a vicious little sod at times and will often bite people if you try to pick him up or are sitting in the chair he wants to sit in, but he also provides much needed comfort to many.”
Dana Mills, a postgraduate student at the college, who helps to feed the cat during term time, posted a message on Erasmus’s Facebook group “Erasmus is short on cat food. Could you contribute a bit? Every little helps, and you know he will repay you in love and cuddles!”
Mills stated “I reminded undergraduates to leave food before they leave for the long summer vacation. Erasmus is a much loved and well fed cat, and lacks nothing in this world.”
At the time of writing it is unclear how much food has been collected for Erasmus over the summer vacation. Erasmus himself was unavailable for comment on the situation.