On Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, Martin the cat, a long-beloved fixture of Clemson University’s campus, passed away.
Martin, who has been voted as Best Animal in The Tiger’s Best of Clemson issue for the past three years, primarily lived next to Martin Hall E building. The staff of the building helped to care for Martin for the last 14 years. Bonnie Holaday, a Clemson professor, reports that she fed Martin every Saturday since 2006.
Back in January 2020, flyers were posted alerting students that Martin was being moved to an indoor home for his health and safety. Many students showed sadness regarding losing Martin’s presence on campus, but they were ultimately pleased that he was being cared for.
Ava Knoske, a senior industrial engineering major, was one of many students who loved visiting Martin and keeping up with the Instagram account dedicated to the cat, @martin.the.cat.clemson.
“On the nights when I felt the most lonely, Martin knew,” Knoske said. “He would come out from his mulch burrow and sit on the wall with me for as long as I needed, interspersing the quiet night with his signature meows. I will forever be grateful for the cattitude he brought to campus and promise that his legacy lives on.”
The students’ sadness is undoubtedly mirrored by the faculty and staff at Clemson. Tami Hemingway, the director of Clemson’s export control and Martin’s caretaker for nine months, stated that “Martin took to living indoors like a duck to water.” Considering he slept and snuggled with Hemingway every night, Hemingway believes that Martin was someone’s pet before he became Clemson’s campus’ unofficial mascot.
Hemingway hopes that students will remember that Martin, like all stray cats, did have to face hardships such as toxins in the surrounding area, dogs and cars. Just as Hemingway gave Martin a place to live out the remainder of his life, she hopes that students will consider doing the same when confronted with homeless animals in need of good homes.
“I am so grateful for the brief time that Martin lived with me,” Hemingway said. “I very much loved and adored him and he has left a giant hole in my life.
The Martin Hall professors estimated Martin to be approximately 14 years old, and they expressed happiness that he was able to spend so much of his life loved by students, faculty and staff alike.