Archive for Maynooth University Library Cat

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on September 20, 2022 by telescoper

Deciding to make my way to work this morning via the South Campus for a change I stumbled across Maynooth University Library Cat and was able to see to his breakfast needs. He emptied the dish and then went for a nap. With a large number of new students on campus these days our famous feline has greatly increased opportunities for interaction (i.e. cadging food). I am reliably informed that he has had at least two other meals today. I don’t know where he puts it all…

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on August 11, 2022 by telescoper

Over the past week or so I’ve made numerous trips back and forth to the Examinations Office and Exam Halls on matters relating to the repeat examinations, which finished yesterday. In the course of my perambulations I’ve been keeping an eye out for Maynooth University Library Cat, but until yesterday I didn’t see him anywhere. When I did catch a glimpse of him yesterday he had flaked out underneath a bush and I didn’t want to disturb him to take a photograph. Luckily however whoever operates Maynooth University’s Twitter feed managed to get a good snap of him today:

It can’t be ideal in this weather to be wearing a black fur coat, but he seems well. I guess he has been keeping a low profile in the shade most of the time. Whenever I passed his residence I made sure there was water in his bowl, but if he got really thirsty he could probably drink from the little stream that flows under the bridge on which he holds court. There are fish in there, and even the occasional otter, so I suppose the water is OK to drink. I don’t think I’ll put that to the test though. Certainly not now. I’ve just finished marking the last batch of scripts so I think I’ll go for a glass of wine…

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Biographical, Maynooth with tags on May 24, 2022 by telescoper
Picture Credit: Joost Slingerland

I’ve been at home today, doing the last of my examination marking, doing some Open Journal business, and preparing a presentation for later this week so I’m indebted to my colleague Dr Joost Slingerland for the above picture of Maynooth University Library Cat.

I’ve seen him quite a few times recently, as I’ve been on South Campus to collect exam scripts etc, and he seems in fine feline fettle. In the picture he looks like he’s guarding his Library from unwelcome visitors.

Soon the exams will be over and the campus will be relatively quiet again, though no doubt he will continue to be kept well provisioned and not short of company when he wants some.

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on January 26, 2022 by telescoper

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update about Maynooth University Library Cat so I’m taking the opportunity provided by our return to campus to correct that omission. In a nutshell, said feline seems to be in good health and is well nourished. I visited him at his usual spot on Monday afternoon in order to give him some food but he had already dined and was in the process of departing for a post-prandial walkabout.

I realized when I watched him toddle off into the distance that he is such a creature of habit that he has worn away a path through the grass. I think it’s visible on this picture. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to spot where he is.

Incidentally the magpie to the left of the picture is another regular visitor to Library Cat’s spot – to eat any leftovers from his dish. It’s a waste of time leaving food out for him when he’s not there as the birds get it all.

Anyway, here’s a more conventional picture so you can see he looks well:

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags , on November 24, 2021 by telescoper

It has been some time since I last posted an update about Maynooth University Library Cat. It’s been rather chilly recently and he’s probably been keeping out of the cold somewhere snug. I’m not sure exactly where he goes to stay warm but I’m sure he has some favourite places here and there around campus. He lives outdoors but I’m sure he’s prepared from time to time to venture inside for warmth. On his own terms, of course. He is, after all, a cat.

I did however see him on the way to my 2pm lecture today and he was still on post when I returned an hour or so later. He was looking fluffier than usual, a normal reaction against the cold, but was his usual friendly self when I stopped to give him a stroke. He only sits in the location shown on the picture when he wants a bit of a fuss and/or to be fed. When he’s not in the mood he makes himself scarce!

Incidentally, in the distance, past the Library on the left you can see the new building on the North campus which is nearing completion…

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on October 6, 2021 by telescoper
Cat On Post

On my way through the drizzle to my 2pm lecture today I happened to see Maynooth University Library Cat at his usual position so stopped to take a snap. When I got closer I discovered that his food dishes were awash with rainwater so emptied one of them out and gave him some food from the plentiful stash next to his little box. There are many more people on campus now than a few weeks ago so he’s getting a lot of attention (and food) and seems in good health. I wonder what he thinks about all these strange humans rushing to and fro past his residence?

Popping up on Campus

Posted in Covid-19, Education, Maynooth with tags , , on September 24, 2021 by telescoper

Well that’s the end of Week 1 of the new regime (or Week 0 for new students). Apart from quite a few timetabling issues and a staff short shortage it hasn’t gone too badly. I also heard today that next week there will be a “pop-up vaccination centre” on Maynooth University campus.

I think this is a good idea.

Talking of things popping up on campus, I think Maynooth University Library Cat has been enjoying the attention he’s been getting from returning staff and students. In fact his little abode is now an official calling point on the Campus Tours for new students.

Being petted and pampered can be exhausting however and occasionally he likes to withdraw to his quarters for a rest..

Anyway, it’s been a hectic week and the new students arrive tomorrow so now it’s definitely long past wine o’clock…

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on October 22, 2020 by telescoper

As we enter a six week period of Level 5 restrictions in Ireland I thought I’d post a quick update about Maynooth University Library Cat just to reassure readers that he is doing fine.

Yesterday I passed by his post on the way to my 2pm lecture in Physics Hall, the last such lecture I’ll be giving in that location for at least six weeks. I found him having a post-prandial wash having just scoffed the food on the bowl on the wall to the right. He is clearly in good health. I noticed that he has a plentiful supply of food (see the box to the bottom left) so he’s well set. In any case he won’t be as isolated on campus as in the earlier lockdown in March as a significant number of staff and students are still on campus and several buildings remain open this time, which was not the case before.

Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Maynooth with tags on July 12, 2020 by telescoper

I’m busy today reading a PhD thesis in advance of a virtual viva voce examination tomorrow morning but since a few people have asked, I’m taking a short break to update about Maynooth University Library Cat.

The weather has been fairly grim for the last few weeks so he’s been keeping to the various sheltering places he uses but the weather was a bit better on Friday so he was out and about.

As you can see, he’s in good health. In fact he’s as fit as a fiddle. Various people take offerings on a daily basis so he never has any shortage of food. As a matter of fact I wonder where he puts it all as he manages to stay very trim…

Leaving Off

Posted in Education, Maynooth with tags , , , on May 9, 2020 by telescoper

So yesterday the Government of Ireland announced that this year’s Leaving Certificate examinations will be cancelled. That decision seems to have surprised quite a few people but to me it looked inevitable once the Covid-19 Roadmap was published last Friday. If you recall these examinations would normally take place in June but this year had been initially been postponed to happen in late July and into August. Now they’re cancelled altogether.

Not many details are available about the scheme proposed to replace the examinations but it will be based on an assessment made by schoolteachers based on previous performance moderated in some way by the Department for Education & Skills, which has oversight of the process.

Most of the reaction I’ve seen on social media from students is that they’re delighted they won’t have to sit the examinations. Questions arise however about how fair the new system will be, especially given that it is being assembled at such short notice.

I note that the Government press release states that

Students will also retain the right to the sit the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations at a date in the future when it is deemed safe for state examinations to be held.

The Leaving Certificate isn’t just about entry into Third Level Education but it does raise specific issues for that sector. One is how many students who would potentially enter Higher Education in September will defer until they can take the Leaving Certificate proper. If many do that then the implications for University finances in the short term are significant.

Another issue is that Universities have been planning on the basis that because of the delayed Leaving Certificate, newly enrolled students would not be arriving until November. Now it looks like they will come in September along with the returning students, so we now need a Plan B.

On the face of it, it seems good news that we will no longer have the staggered academic year required in Plan B to contend with. On the other hand, if institutions have to operate with strict social distancing measures in place when they reopen, as is likely, the increased number of students in September will make this even more difficult – especially since first-year classes are the usually larger ones. I can’t see any way of coping unless a significant part of our teaching is done remotely. Recorded lectures and virtual tutorials look set to be part of the “new normal” for some time.

The decision to cancel the Leaving Certificate raises other questions but I don’t want to get into a discussion of the rights and wrongs of that decision (in which it seems Ireland’s universities had very little influence) . All I will say – and I’m sure that I speak for all my colleagues at Maynooth University – is that we will do our utmost to operate the new admissions system in a way that is as fair as possible to potential students, and to deliver the best education we can with the resources available within whatever constraints we are under in September. Whatever we do won’t be perfect, but we’ll do our best.

Until then there is no need for students or staff to get even more stressed than we are already, so I hereby invoke the calming influence of Maynooth University Library Cat.