You may well have heard about him. His name is Jasper. He is five years old and he has become a hit with the students who attend the Marshall Library of Economics. His presence helps to calm the students. I’m sure that there is a lot of pressure on students at Cambridge University to do well. It is wonderful to see a domestic cat, particularly a red tabby cat (who generally have very nice characters well-suited to this sort of work), genuinely making himself useful in a place of work.
I think a lady called Clare runs the library. Her deputy Simon Frost rescue Jasper from a local rescue centre. Jasper lost a leg in a car accident a few years ago. I think Clare wanted to brighten up the library and Jasper fitted in nicely with her plans.
Jasper has a Facebook and Twitter account. Through these accounts he updates students on library news. I guess the fact that he has the accounts makes the news more readable interesting.
When Clare organised an event for Jasper it was sold out. She publicised the event on Facebook and although there were 30 tickets available, 132 people agreed to come. Clare used the event to obtain feedback about the library and one student remarked that they were the best library in Cambridge. Jasper behaved himself impeccably and attended the event for three hours.
“Students said they loved cats and how grateful they were. It means they can go into study, go and borrow a book and see the cat if they are feeling a bit stressed.”
Jasper’s presence allows the students to be distracted from their studies for 5-10 minutes which is proving to be invaluable.
Despite only having three legs, Jasper bounds around the library. I like this story for the simple fact that the domestic cat is once again genuinely helping people and at the same time enjoying himself. It is a good cat news story and a happy cat story.