A beloved member of our Clemson Family has settled into retirement after being a campus cat since 2006 according to @martin.the.cat.clemson’s Instagram post on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. The flyer featured in the post announcing this retirement was provided to the Instagram page courtesy of Instagram users @johniestancil and @lisaembach and detailed that Martin would be moving in with a Clemson staffer, courtesy of his caregivers in Martin Hall “E,” located near Sikes Hall and the Amphitheatre on campus.
Martin, the campus cat of Clemson University, presumably named after the building in which he resided for so many years, has become a fixture of the Clemson community. As of 4:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, 2,028 users had liked the post announcing Martin’s retirement. Regarding Martin’s impact, @martin.the.cat.clemson said, “To have a little tiger on campus has brought so many classes of students, staff and visitors all happiness.” Many other students also expressed Martin’s impact on them: “I’m a huge cat person, so every time I would go to my labs I would pass by Martin and pet him and it always made my day bc he reminded me of my cats from home,” said Lizzie Latham, a freshman biological sciences major.
Being on a college campus and living in a small college town, students can have limited access to pets, seeing as on-campus housing only allows service or emotional support animals and many off-campus housing options require an extra fee to have a pet. Junior biological sciences major Coral Holt felt this lack of pet exposure and, in response to Martin’s retirement, said “As college students, we don’t often get to own or interact with pets, so walking by Martin every day on the way to class and petting him has always been a nice stress reliever.”
Martin has been much more than just a campus cat: he has been a connection to home, a source of unity, a symbol of kindness and a friend. “I would always get into conversations with fellow students who I didn’t know previously just from petting Martin together and bonding over his cuteness” said Holt. This sentiment was echoed among many other students: “Seeing students care for him did raise my spirits a bit, helping to restore my faith in the kindness of the Clemson family,” said Kayla Elkin, senior English major; “Martin always gave me a glimmer of hope before every calc exam. He’s the heart and soul of the math department” said junior bioengineering major Trina Pham.
His existence has been a poorly kept secret, gifted among friends. At least one student, however, appears to have been left out: “Honestly, I didn’t even know who Martin was” said Johnathan Phillips, sophomore chemistry major.
For those who were privy to this secret, Martin has been loved and will be missed, but the student body wishes him the best: “Stay gold Martinboy” said Wyatt Balliew, sophomore chemistry major.
We couldn’t agree more Balliew. We couldn’t agree more.
(Comments have been edited for grammar)