Residing in the quiet dorm of Iota Wittner lives a friendly feline named Tom. Tom is a two-year-old domestic shorthair. Tom can be found nestled in between blankets proudly showing off his half pink and half brown nose. His lucky owner, senior Leah Hart, is a biology major at Eckerd and his cuddly and sweet attitude makes him a perfect fit for Eckerd’s pet life.
Hart believes that having a pet on Eckerd’s campus is a great suggestion to those who are pet lovers.
“I couldn’t imagine living at Eckerd without a pet,” Hart said. “(Tom) gives me something to look forward to everyday.”
Tom has been with Hart and her family from the very start of his life. Hart had another cat that gave birth to a litter and Tom was the only boy. This prompted Hart to keep him as part of her forever home. Hart raising Tom since he was born gives them a special bond.
Tom knows how to comfort Hart whenever she needs him.
“He knows when I’m having a bad day because he’ll come up to me and cry to be pet, and then proceed to cuddle with me,” Hart said.
Although Tom is a loving cat, having a pet at Eckerd still comes with a lot of responsibility. Hart notes that one of the main responsibilities for a pet is to make sure they are fed at consistent times and to give them plenty of attention.
It is a misconception that cats are independent and don’t need as much attention as other animals. Even though they can be left alone longer than some other pets, they still crave love and attention.
Tom gets along with other cats but Hart often finds that cats aren’t as loving toward him. The only dogs Tom likes are the ones found back at home.
One thing that surprised Hart about Tom is how much he hates being on his cat leash.
While there are so many great benefits to having Tom, Hart finds that its the little moments that make it really special.
“He always greets me at the door and we have nightly cuddles until I fall asleep,” Hart said.
It is moments like these that make having a pet while attending Eckerd one of the greatest privileges students could ask for.