With white paws, belly, and small scar on his nose, Max the Cat is undoubtedly the cutest visitor of Leavenworth.
Two-year-old Max is loved by the students here at Castleton. Libby Keith, an early college student, loves to hang out with and take pictures of Max.
“Whenever I see him, I always take a picture and I post it because he’s so cute,” she said.
Students frequenting Leavenworth are happy to see the cat around. Senior Wangchen “Snow” Tsering watched as Max chased a chipmunk in and around bushes outside Woodruff.
“When the cat approaches you just kind of feel, like, so relaxed,” said Tsering.
Both Keith and Tsering agree that he acts as like a therapy animal for those lucky enough to see him.
But, the person that enjoys seeing him the most is freshman Kaitlyn Tanner, whose family owns Max. Her family lives on Seminary Street, while Tanner herself lives on campus.
“He was really on campus more than with us,” she said. “So, I actually kind of see him more.”
The Tanner family has had Max for his whole life after rescuing him from a bad living situation in Fair Haven. His brother, Flash, a tuxedo cat that can also sometimes be spotted, was also rescued from there.
Max was recently on house arrest for roughly eight months after getting sick, but keeping him in the house was no easy feat.
“He would always try to sneak out because he just wanted to go see his friends.” she said, while laughing.
Max loves coming to campus because of the amount of attention he gets from students, according to Tanner.
And he does get a lot of attention.
Keith mentioned that she had recently seen people giving him toys and treats. Even with the nice offerings, Max sometimes settles for playing with the peppers left outside Leavenworth.
Although the gifts are a nice gesture, students worry about overfeeding him.
“Don’t feed the cat. He doesn’t need it. He’ll get so fat,” said Viviane D’Amico, a fifth year at Castleton.
Tanner also talked about how her family wishes students did not feed Max because he gets more than enough food at home.
Even though students mean well, feeding and taking care of the cat can turn into larger issues.
Two years ago, there was an incident where a few students took him in. Thinking he was a stray, they took him to the vet.
“I worry that people won’t know that he’s not a stray, and the pattern of taking him home will continue,” Tanner said.
Although Keith hopes that people can tell he’s domesticated by his friendliness and comfortability around students, Tsering worries that not a lot of people know he has an owner.
The Tanners are happy to share the joy that is Max, so long as he gets home safely each night.
“He’s just the best cat to ever exist,” said Tanner, with a smile. on her face.