Whether you hold fond memories of your school days or couldn’t wait for the soul-crushing boredom of class to be over, it’s a sure thing that the presence of a cat during lessons would have improved your educational exploits. Wonderfully, that’s exactly what the students at Leland High School in San Jose get to experience every day, as Bubba, a stately looking local cat, prowls around the hallways and pops into classes (often to take a nap).
With word about Bubba’s adventures starting to spread around the social media circuit, we got the scoop on this studious kitty.
Bubba was originally found on the streets of San Jose and brought to a shelter when he was about eight months old. At that point, Amber Marienthal and her family were looking to adopt a cat and saw him on a website. After driving to meet Bubba, Amber recalls, “He was adorable and playful — perfect for us. We were told he was very friendly and a quiet boy.”
Bubba lived up to his amiable reputation once they got him home, although as Amber says, “He is anything but quiet!” His vocal demands involved pestering his new family to let him outside: “He spent hours yelling at us while going back and forth from door to door. To save our sanity — and because we were curious as to his intentions — we let him out.”
Once Bubba had been granted his outdoor privileges, he took full advantage of them by popping into neighbors’ abodes. “It wasn’t too long after that, back in 2010, that I began to get phone calls from the Bret Harte Middle School behind our house,” says Amber. “Bubba was often waiting at the office door to be let in. The staff was at first concerned that he was lost.
“At the time my oldest son, Matthew, went to school there so the staff wasn’t too concerned when Bubba became a regular fixture on campus,” she continues. “When Matthew started to go to Leland High School, which is adjacent to Bret Harte, Bubba began to share his time between the two schools. Now that both Matt and Mark attend Leland, he seems to have made that his school of choice.”
“I would have to say he can be seen on campus every day of the week,” says Amber of Bubba’s academic attendance record. As for his last report card? “He has purrrfect attendance, and a positive catitude in class! His PE skills are relegated to simple stretches and prolonged naps so I’m not sure that warrants an A, but it sure is cute.”
Despite a stellar attendance record, Bubba did once find himself in trouble in class. As Amber recalls, “The teacher loved Bubba’s presence and sought to have Bubba there more often so he started feeding him treats. Well, one day Bubba showed up but the teacher was out of treats. In good ol’ Bubba fashion, he yelled at the poor guy all period. Finally the teacher has to lock him out for the day! But most teachers are very happy to have him mingle in and out of their classes.”
Since becoming part of the Leland High School scene, Bubba has expanded his kitty mind. Amber says that his algebra has improved immensely, while he’s started to meow in a Spanish accent. “He’s still a little hazy on world history, but that’ll come with practice,” she adds. “Oh, and somehow he’s learned how to open screen doors!”
Bubba is a proud owner of an official Leland High School student body card. After waiting in line on registration day, the kitty was used as the test subject — and ended up with his own ASB card.
Unfortunately, after snagging his student card, Bubba found himself embroiled in one of his most infamous mishaps. Amber says that he began to strut around campus under the mistaken belief that class was in session. When he failed to return home at night as usual, Amber called her neighbors, who also hadn’t seen him around.
“When Bubba didn’t return home the next morning, I started to make posters,” she continues. “Finally, a call came in from the security guard at Leland: He had heard Bubba’s loud meows and he let him out.”
How was Bubba after his 36-hour spell locked inside the school? Apparently the shenanigan left him “unfazed — but hungry.”
Head over to Bubba’s Facebook page to keep up with his continuing adventures in academia.
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About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.