The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The Tator

Bark Break success inspires Hiss Hiatus, which ends in cat-astrophe
The Tator

This is a satirical article and is not meant to be taken seriously. It does not reflect the opinions of The Spectator or UW-Eau Claire.

Bark Break has been a highly successful campus-wide stress reliever for a few years, according to third-year nursing student Mackenzie Fictitious. Due to Bark Break praise, UW-Eau Claire hosted their first ever Hiss Hiatus.

“When I first heard about Hiss Hiatus, I was so excited,” Fictitious said. “I love cats almost as much as I love dogs, and I thought the change would be fun.”

After three hours at McIntyre Library, Fictitious said she made her way to the campus mall to meet some furry friends but when she walked out the doors, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

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“I was expecting to see some cuddly cats napping in the grass or maybe chasing lasers, but that’s not even close to what was happening,” Fictitious said.

Cats were wrestling each other and chasing students around the Campus Mall, according to Fictitious. Cats broke off their leashes and ran free around campus, some even climbing trees to unreachable heights.

“Those cats were really putting the ‘hiss’ in Hiss Hiatus,” Fictitious said. “I never would’ve given up my great spot in the library if I knew this was how it would go.”

Fictitious said she turned around and ran straight back into the library, escaping without a scratch.

Geology professor Paul Pretend said he disapproved of the event from the start. Having had a couple cats before, he said he couldn’t imagine Hiss Hiatus going well.

Pretend said none of his cats have been very sociable. His first cat was introverted and would rather hide in he and his wife’s bedroom and drink water out of their mugs than mingle with people, let alone other cats.

His current cat is territorial, and he said bringing the cat to campus would be a safety hazard for students, staff and all other cats.

“My cat is my pride and joy,” Pretend said. “I would never subject my poor Archie to this type of treatment.”

After hearing about the implementation of Hiss Hiatus, Pretend said he spoke directly to Chancellor James Schmidt, asking him to call off the event, but Schmidt insisted it would be a great idea.

“I tried to warn him, I really did,” Pretend said. “I went home that night and held my cat a little closer until he jumped off my shoulder and bit my ankles.”

Eau Claire Fire Department Chief Christine Notreal said she was stunned when she was notified that the squad was needed at campus.

“I absolutely adore cats,” Notreal said, “and that’s why I can’t imagine why on Earth this idea was approved.”

Notreal said she has three cats at home and loves them more than life itself and couldn’t imagine bringing them to an event full of other cats.

“We made our way to campus and saw cats scattered everywhere. We’ve never had to pull so many cats out of trees,” Notreal said.

Six hours after the squad arrived, the campus was finally cleared of cats, with only abandoned leashes, cat toys and hairballs left in the event’s wake.

“Never in my 25 years working for the department have I ever seen a mess like this. It made the university look foolish, and brought a bad name to cats,” Notreal said. “Cats are the best pets around, just not when you put 50 of them together on a college campus.”

Event coordinator Andy Sham declined to comment on the event.

Price can be reached at [email protected].

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Kyra Price
Kyra Price, Freelance Writer

Kyra is a third-year psychology and public health student. This is her fifth semester on The Spectator. In her free time, she likes to listen to a borderline concerning amount of music (like 40-70 hours a week) and attend any concert she can get her hands on tickets for.


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