Cat captures hearts of Hillhead
Freshers fight for feline’s favours
By: Jake Roslin
Seaton the cat checks out rival student duvets - Photographs: Wiktoria Wawrowska, Abaigh McMenaman
A small tabby cat is setting social media alight after taking up seemingly permanent residence in Aberdeen University’s Hillhead Halls.
The particularly docile and perpetually sleepy tom has been dubbed Seaton, or sometimes Gerald, on social media. He has made friends with students in various flats, all of whom now compete for his attentions.
There are already at least two thriving Instagram accounts dedicated to the moggie and his adventures, which consist mainly of sleeping on student beds, being tickled, eating tuna, and sleeping some more.
‘I think it was maybe a month ago that people started taking him in their flats,’ Wiktoria Wawrowska of South House told The Gaudie. ‘We weren’t the first flat that took him inside. People feed him and let him in the building when it’s raining’.
‘He comes by the flat every day for attention and for tuna chunks,’ said Abaigh McMenaman, who studies Music. ‘He is such a little gentleman and is so friendly - he brings smiles to everyone!’
Seaton relaxes after a hard-day of petting and tuna eating - Photograph: Abaigh McMenaman
Residents agree that the appearance of Seaton has been particularly welcome in a semester when many have been cooped up inside for long hours due to Covid-19 instead of being out and about on campus. It has even been suggested the moggie is unwittingly providing a therapeutic service for students, and perhaps should be put on the University’s payroll. ‘It’s nice to be able to have a little furry friend visit,’ commented McMenaman, ‘especially with the stress of Uni work’.
The feline’s appearance will echo for third- and fourth-year students that of Buttons, a black and white cat, ubiquitous around the campus until around the end of 2018. His departure, believed to be due to his owners moving away from their home near campus, was much mourned.
In 2018, Buttons sought to be nominated in the Rectoral election - Photograph: courtesy of the Buttons for Rector Electoral Campaign
Buttons similarly became a campus social media phenomenon, and the subject of a “campaign”, perpetuated by The Gaudie at the time, to have him elected as Rector of the University.
But there is one slightly sad side to Seaton’s sojourn. ‘We’re not sure if he has a home,’ said Wawrowska. ‘He looks clean and healthy, but he just hangs around here all day so I assume he doesn’t.’ Although the tabby has also been seen around Seaton Park, he does not have a tag, and is often reluctant to leave the warmth of student flats at night, especially when it’s raining. ‘Once you take him inside, he doesn’t want to go out,’ she added.
Fortunately, with a higher number than usual of students staying in the Hillhead houses over the vacation, Seaton shouldn’t be deprived of Christmas affection and tuna this year.
Tucking into some tuna - Photograph: Abaigh McMenaman
Instagram: Seaton Spotting Aberdeen / Gerald Spotting Aberdeen