Better with Bear: School Cat Moves to New Home, Principal’s Office

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Bear has a full facility in what was once the principal's office.

BRYA INGRAM

Bear has a full facility in what was once the principal’s office.

Being sent to the principal’s office scared the children.

Now at Seddon School it is heartwarming for them. This is because the principal has moved and the school cat has moved in.

But director Anita Phillips doesn’t care. In fact, Bear (that’s his name) is settling in well in his new home.

It was even added to “our people” section on the Seddon School website.

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The idea for a school cat came from students Kynan Crouch and Manaia Huntley. Manaia said Things in June, they were on a mission to retrieve the cat. There were fundraisers and a presentation to the school board.

Phillips said the proposal came at a good time, as a few teachers had inquired about the benefits of therapy animals.

Seddon school students Kynan Crouch, left, and Manaia Huntley with Bear, the school cat.

BRYA INGRAM

Seddon school students Kynan Crouch, left, and Manaia Huntley with Bear, the school cat.

“So it was put on the back burner anyway, and then when the boys came up with it they put it all on the board,” Phillips said.

“So it wasn’t taken lightly by anyone, they had to do a full presentation at a board meeting one night and get approval from there.

“The board has accepted the provision that the boys continue to provide them with twice-yearly reports on the cat’s condition. So they’ve just been busy writing the next one for the next board meeting.

Bear was taken to the Springlands Veterinary Clinic for euthanization earlier this year.  Staff made the decision to relocate him instead.

BRYA INGRAM

Bear was taken to the Springlands Veterinary Clinic for euthanization earlier this year. Staff made the decision to relocate him instead.

Bear had been brought to the Springlands Veterinary Center in Blenheim earlier this year to be euthanized, after being found in a vineyard in rural Marlborough.

But the staff at the center saw glimmers of friendship, so the decision was made to tame him, de-sex him and relocate him through the centre’s adoption clinic.

Money raised by the Seddon School ended up going only to Bear’s toys, after the Springlands Veterinary Center covered the cost of adoption, including deworming, deexing, and microchipping, among others.

Vet Marlborough, another center in the area, agreed to pay the costs of all outstanding vet bills for the rest of Bear’s life.

The cat would need to go to a cattery during the Christmas holidays, so money would be collected to pay for this each year.

Manaia and Kynan say school is better with Bear.

BRYA INGRAM

Manaia and Kynan say school is better with Bear.

Phillips said Bear was the perfect fit. Some of the children at the school had made time to play with him.

“It was really good for them, and the parents too. Anyone who arrives a little anxious, it was really nice for them. ”

Bear even kept his company on the weekends. Her favorite place was the school library.

“He’s used to the constant flows and different people stroking him,” she said.

“He’s people-oriented, which is why they thought he would be a great fit for school, and if you walk away from him, he just sits there waiting for you to come back.”

The ongoing vet fees for Bear will be funded by Vet Marlborough, after the Springlands Veterinary Center funded his adoption.

BRYA INGRAM

The ongoing vet fees for Bear will be funded by Vet Marlborough, after the Springlands Veterinary Center funded his adoption.

“If you come in at night, he’ll be sitting on the window sill waiting for you, then he’ll follow you to the door.”

Kynan said school was better with the cat around.

Manaia said he has been so busy with his schoolwork that he hasn’t been able to spend as much time with Bear as he would like.

“He’s cute. It was funny. I just love that we have an animal other than sparrows,” Manaia said.

“He sort of does his own thing like a normal cat. It is rather cruising.


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