Jerry the cat passes away after illness

Jerry the cat passes away after illness

Jerry the cat passed away on Tuesday after serving as the golf team’s mascot the past eight years. CW | Pete Pajor

Caroline Gazzara

On Tuesday, Jerry the cat passed away. It was a hard decision for the two golf teams, but after consulting a veterinarian, men’s golf coach Jay Seawell made the call to put Jerry down. She had been sick for a few weeks.

Jerry was plagued by a mysterious paralysis last November, and although she regained her ability to walk, she never fully recovered. Seawell said Jerry most likely had cancer and it was just her time.

“Unfortunately we had to let her go today,” he said on Tuesday. “[She] was a good pet around here. She leaves with five SEC titles and three national championships, which isn’t a bad run for a cat.”

The tabby cat became the unofficial mascot for the two golf teams over the past eight years. Along with her top titles, she also has numerous other accolades. Seawell said Jerry won all those championships. She was a team player.

“We were just trying to help a stray out,” Seawell said. “And the next thing you know [she] became a part of who we are. It just kind of happened. She’s a part of the memory of a lot of our players, which is good. I’m sure many of them will have great memories of when they were here and when Jerry was here.”

Seawell rescued her in the summer of 2007, feeding her some leftover dog food. She was never a picky eater – she was always too excited to get more food to care what it tasted like. Up until recently, Jerry would eat just about anything.

Seawell said he used to look forward to coming into the golf complex first thing in the morning and seeing her face waiting for food. Jerry was more like a dog than a cat, always eager for food. She was even able to weasel her way into getting more meals, begging anyone and everyone to put more food in her bowl. Seawell said in a past interview she was probably being overfed, but Jerry didn’t care, she just liked the attention.

Although she favored the women’s team over the men’s, each team doted on her without hesitation. If anyone was sitting on the couch watching TV, Jerry was right there with them. When working on their swings, Jerry often tried to swat away their practice balls. She just wanted to be loved.

Any time people came into the golf complex, Jerry was there to greet them. She would climb down from her perch and demand scratches. She wasn’t hard to please.

Jerry enjoyed catching field mice and playing with golf balls when she wasn’t sleeping or demanding attention. She had a solid record of earning her keep until shortly before she fell ill in the fall.

Jerry gave birth to two kittens in the fall of 2007. Both kittens went on to live with former player Laura Goodwin.