Meet the cats of Nueva

Mar 8, 2020 | Features, Profiles


ueva has a lot of cute pets—many may remember that adorable bring-your-dog-to-school day where students had the chance to meet Nueva dogs out on the field—but some are more reclusive or less socially inclined (at least in large group settings). These, of course, would be cats, who are equally adorable if somewhat more introverted than dogs. Nueva has a bevy of adorable felines, though, so while they may be absent from campus, they still deserve the spotlight.

Sydney F. ’23 and her family bought two cats, Miso and Ajax, after begging her parents for well over four years. Both cats are young—barely three years old—and are extremely close.

“I was sitting at my kitchen table and Miso wandered into the room with a pitiful mew,” Sydney said. “He kept meowing and staring at the door to my parents’ room…I picked him up and cracked open the door, and out ran a terrified Ajax. Miso jumped out of my arms and he and Ajax began play-fighting in relief.”

Sydney believes she is Miso’s favorite, while Ajax favors Sydney’s mother. Miso “purrs incessantly,” while Sydney, who has perfect pitch says that Ajax’s meow “sounds like an A—the note—but slightly lower.” Both cats love “basking in the sun” and Sydney says that, aside from a couple pet peeves, there’s “nothing [she doesn’t] like about them,” while she says that her sister described them as “amazing little boys.”

Max R. ’20 adopted their cats, Puff and Moosh, in July of 2015. They have “always had cats growing up,” including Maddy, Max, and Pete. While they waited a while before getting new cats, Max also made sure to do research before adopting, including talking to local shelters and their pet sitter. After a lot of research and many conversations with a “network of people who care for tiny kittens,” Max and their family realized that they “couldn’t get two littermates out of our heads,” and decided to adopt Puff and Moosh back in July of 2015, when the cats were only a couple months old.

Max has found the cats’ presence especially comforting.

“When we first got them, Puff especially was a wild child, but a couple months after we got them I got my first two concussions so I spent a lot of time at home in bed,” Max said. “Puff really took to me and bonded with me—even now, any time he gets scared by something he runs to my room looking for me.”

“Moosh’s favorite thing to do is to climb up the vertical face of my wardrobe and pull out the top drawer to hunker down up there,” Max said. “She also tends to do it in the middle of the night so I think my room is haunted.”

“They’re both super affectionate and cuddly and really love people, though Puff takes a while to warm up to new people,” Max added.

Communications and Website Manager Rachel F. adopted two cats—Buster, who is “so clever it drives [Rachel] bonkers,” and Posey, who is sweet and calmer—from the Nine Lives Foundation in September. She decided to get cats because of her friend’s cat Wendel, who was the “gateway cat” and “the first time [she] really thought a cat was cute.” 

“I knew when I went to the shelter I was going to name my kittens Buster and Posey, after the San Francisco Giants baseball player—I love the Giants!” Rachel said. “I actually picked out a different black female cat at first but she was very feisty, and knowing that Buster was super rambunctious, I wanted a calmer second cat.”

“Their names actually fit them perfectly,” Rachel added. “Buster is fearless, excited, and constantly moving and Posey is…like a dainty flower.”

Rachel has known this since the moment she brought the cats home.

 “[Buster’s] legs were a little wobbly but as soon as he started walking around I couldn’t get him to slow down,” Rachel said. “Posey, on the other hand, walked slowly and gingerly…and disappeared. She had scurried under the couch. She was definitely scared those first few days but Buster helped her come out of her shell.”

The cats were “essentially a bonded pair” when Rachel adopted them, and “love each other so much,” often napping together. The pair shares a Giants blanket (very appropriate to their origin) and a window seat to watch the “trees billowing outside.” Rachel “cannot contain how much [she loves] them” and has well over 3000 photos of them on her phone. 

Rachel, who is “an extreme extrovert,” finds that having cats makes her like being at home. 

“[Cats] have such vibrant and distinct personalities,” Rachel said. “I think before Wendel, I didn’t really realize how animated and fun cats are. Having Buster and Posey in my life has been such a joy.”