If you head out on campus today, you may be in for a big surprise! Meet Rolf – our unofficial, but much loved, campus cat. We spoke to Rolf’s owner, Helen, to find out more about our meow-vellous campus superstar.
Hi Helen, can you tell us about Rolf?
Rolf lives with us and his litter brother, Rebel, about half a mile from campus. However, he spends most of his time on campus wandering everywhere and anywhere he can! He is an extraordinary cat - most domestic cats rarely wander more than 200 metres from home, however, Rolf’s roaming range is more than two miles!
So when did you realise Rolf was heading out on great expeditions across the University campus?
Rolf kept disappearing from home for five or six days at a time which created a lot of anxiety for us. We found out he was visiting campus because we started to get phone calls from staff and students asking if we had lost a black cat – they used the phone number on his collar to contact us. We then set up a Twitter account for him and within a month, Rolf had more than a thousand followers. Photos of Rolf on campus get posted nearly every day and staff and students have really taken him into their hearts!
Where does he go when he’s on campus?
Rolf has been known to visit more than 40 different departments or locations on campus. He mostly visits the main campus although, much to the delight of staff and students of Life Sciences and the Medical School, he does visit Gibbet Hill sometimes. Rolf’s mission is to sneak into buildings on campus - he somehow gets through revolving doors, airlocks, automatic doors and fire doors. He is often found on the upper floors of campus buildings and he’s even been seen getting in the lift in the Oculus building and travelling to the top floor! He has also been known to invade lectures, meowing loudly.
He’s quite a character then…
He is! Rolf loves the student residences. He has been known to visit Arthur Vick, Benefactors, Bluebell, Claycroft, Cryfield, Heronbank, Jack Martin, Lakeside, Rootes and Tocil. If you are in a ground floor room and you leave your window open more than a few inches, don’t be surprised if you get a visit from Rolf. Because students tend to open kitchen windows when they are cooking, Rolf can often be found in the kitchens of the student residences too!
So what should students do if he does visit their halls?
If you find Rolf in your room or your building, just evict him and he will find his way home! Rolf is one of the most laid-back, good natured cats you could ever meet and he is fine with being picked up or played with. However, like any cat, Rolf doesn’t like to be roughly handled or made to do things he doesn’t want to do and those are the only circumstances where he will scratch or bite. It is better to give Rolf water rather than milk and it is better not to feed him unless you want multiple return visits from him!
How can we keep up with Rolf’s escapades or let you know if we see him?
Rolf has thousands of followers on Twitter from around the world. They love to see photos of his travels around campus. If you see him, take a photo and post it to @RolfatWarwick. To see what he gets up to, follow Rolf on Twitter. We post a report about his adventures on campus on his Twitter account every day and we love how staff and students at Warwick have taken him into their hearts and look out for him. It means so much to us to know he is safe.