Class Notes & Profiles

Vassar... The Cat?

By Veronika Ruff '01

Matthew Vassar clearly wanted to leave a legacy, but he probably wasn’t expecting it to extend to feline friends. Somehow, no other name seemed appropriate for the tiny kitten Betty Spencer Noyes ’40 found near Main Circle during the 1995 reunion weekend.

Noyes heard a strange noise late one night. She found a sickly kitten, with no mother in sight. Noyes brought the "ugly, howling" animal back to Cushing to sleep in the laundry room. (Noyes’ reunion roommate didn’t appreciate the cat’s squealing.) Early the next morning, Noyes met an alumna, a doctor who always carried emergency formula in her car. The newfound friends nursed the kitten to health, and Noyes took "Matthew Vassar" home to join her other three cats. "No one thought he would last long," Noyes said. "But now, Matthew Vassar’s the biggest cat you will ever see!"