Cat Senator Steps Away, Leaves Politics for Philanthropy

JACK DURA| THE SPECTRUM Professor X is a feline who was almost elected to student government office in 2015.
JAKE LYNCH | PHOTO COURTESY 
Professor X is a feline who was almost elected to student government office in 2015.

A cat almost elected to student government office has now turned his attention to philanthropic causes.

Professor X, the black cat who received 50 write-in votes for off-campus senator last year, was not given a senate seat as he is not an enrolled student. His write-in candidacy sought to increase voter participation, the cat’s co-owner and press secretary Jake Lynch said.

While the cat’s intentions this year are “up in the air”¬†to run as a write-in candidate, he has been busy with philanthropic causes, Lynch said.

Professor X held a meet-and-greet last May, raising $100 for the Homeward Animal Shelter from where he was adopted. The cat also held a hot dog meal/meet and greet last fall with proceeds going to the Homecoming Show’s Wellspring for the World fundraiser. The cat raised $150, multiplied by six in matched donations, Lynch said.

The past year has not been entirely rosy, Lynch added, as Professor X ran into health issues late last year.

“I believe it was a stroke was what the vet established,” Lynch said. “He’s fine now but he was never in any pain throughout the entire thing. He was walking a little funny.”

Professor X’s life before adoption is unknown, Lynch said, as is his medical history. The cat is about 6-years-old and “always been super out of shape,” Lynch added.

The cat lives off campus with Zach Amundson, one of Lynch’s roommates from last year.

Despite his break from politics, Professor X is still active on Twitter, @CatSenator. The cat “probably will not” endorse a student body presidential ticket, Lynch said, adding Professor X does denounce Donald Trump while he endorses no one to stay politically unbiased.

“He usually tries to remain pretty neutral,” Lynch said.

Professor X has not yet determined whether he will campaign as a write-in candidate, Lynch said, though the press secretary added some voters may write him in.

Lynch added the cat received more votes in 2015 than Mason Wenzel, assistant executive finance commissioner, for off-campus senator, a joke @CatSenator points out often.

“He was unsure of whether he wanted the public attention. He had the spotlight for a while. It was good to him,” Lynch said, adding he and the cat’s co-owners are unsure what the future holds.

“Nothing concrete yet,” Lynch said, adding he is unsure if Professor X can serve as senator due to an unspoken rule of only humans eligible to serve in student government, as well as non-humans being enrolled at NDSU.

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