Santa Clara Mag Blog
Black, White, and Fed All Over
Monday, Nov. 28, 2011
Saying goodbye to a familiar friend on campus
If you have had lunch at the Adobe Lodge, then you know BW (short for Black and White)—although maybe not by that name.
You might have called her Adobe or The Jesuit Cat. The staff at the Lodge named her Bus Tub, after the containers that leftovers are swept into. Maybe you just knew of the friendly longhaired, black and white cat that staked out the entrance of the Adobe Lodge daily. But those who knew her best, called her BW.
Michelle Towers official title with Santa Clara is administrative associate in the president’s office, but she’s unofficially the chair of SCU’s department of cat care. According to Towers, BW first appeared on campus about six years ago, large enough that most observers assumed she was pregnant. After two frowned upon forays into the restaurant, BW established her familiar post on the wooden chest near the entrance. Vet trips were surprisingly easy; some tuna or fresh chicken was all the bait required.
BW’s temperament bordered on fearless, as she was something of a socialite. She was known to weave between the crowds at Vintage Santa Clara and open houses and even attended a Board of Trustees outdoor lunch one day. “One event that she joined, that is remembered by many, was Father Locatelli's memorial outside in the Mission Garden,” recalls Towers. “There was an aisle that led from the statue of St. Joseph up to the stage, which was in front of St. Joseph hall. BW came into sight, walked up the aisle, turned around near the statue and sat—as if watching the event as well.”
In October, Towers noticed that BW had gone missing. The cat no longer waited for her morning meal at the St. Joseph statue and at her lunchtime post at Adobe. Over the next few weeks Towers asked her cat network if they had seen her, and they in turn asked others. She kept an eye on the Humane Society’s found pets page. Sure enough, a picture of BW was posted by someone who had been on the campus, thought BW was lost, and took her home for a few days.
Towers followed up with the local Humane Society. They called the person who found her and learned that BW was dropped off at another local shelter on October 20 when there had been no response to the posting. The staff reviewed her condition, and due to her age (around 12) and health problems (thyroid and kidney issues) she was put down.
“I hope there is an Adobe Lodge in cat heaven for her,” Towers says. “Heaven help them if the food is not to her liking.”