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Community cat befriends U students

Peanut spends the majority of his time wandering Marcy-Holmes.
Peanut the cat struts across the kitchen counter in his owner Jeremy Bays home in Minneapolis.
Image by Bridget Bennett
Peanut the cat struts across the kitchen counter in his owner Jeremy Bay’s home in Minneapolis.

When elementary education junior Callie Young hears the tinkling of a small bell, she knows exactly what it means.

Her friend Peanut the cat is coming.

Although the nearly 2-year-old orange cat with white paws lives with a couple in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, Peanut spends most of his time wandering and meeting other people, including several University of Minnesota students.

“He likes to greet me at the door in the mornings,” Young said. “When I’d come home he’d be sleeping at the bottom of the stairs.”

“We definitely wanted to adopt him,” Young said.

Jeremy Bay, who owns Peanut with Angela Lyon, said he’s been taking care of Peanut since May, when the cat’s former owner moved out of town.

“I wasn’t really a cat fan,” he said. Now he said he likes Peanut.

 Peanut usually ends up at the Redmond Apartments during his wanderings, Bay said.

Business and marketing education junior Paige Pruneda, Young’s roommate at Redmond, said she first met Peanut near her boyfriend’s house earlier this semester. She next saw him two weeks later at her apartment.

“I started freaking out,” she said. She said she let him into her apartment because it was raining outside.

“I really want him to be my cat,” she said.

Bay and Lyon said they often receive calls about Peanut’s whereabouts — their number is listed on Peanut’s tag. Bay said he’s had four different calls about Peanut in 10 minutes.

Besides from Redmond Apartments, Bay said he’s fielded Peanut calls from Whitey’s World Famous Saloon, Metal-Matic Inc., Dunn Bros. Coffee and Maxwell’s. He also once got a call from two boys at 4:30 a.m. to tell him Peanut was on the 10th Avenue Bridge near West Bank.

Redmond Apartments resident and biology senior Kacy Benedict said the cat slept with her roommate overnight and hangs out in the apartment sometimes.

Others, like history senior Emily Bisbach and nursing senior Natalie Reker, who are roommates at Redmond, have also been charmed by Peanut.

He was sprawled in front of their door, they said, when Reker first found him and brought him inside.

Peanut will often lie on the sidewalk and turn over to get attention when people walk by, Lyon said.

“It’s very entertaining,” she said.

Bisbach said she brought Peanut in after class one day because he was sitting by the door waiting for someone to let him in. He slept in their apartment for about four hours, she said.

“I just pretended like he was my cat,” Bisbach said.

Peanut used to be around Redmond almost every day, Reker said, but he hasn’t been around recently.

“I think it’s the colder weather,” she said.

Bisbach said she just hoped Peanut hadn’t forgotten them.

Sometimes Bay has similar thoughts. He said when Peanut doesn’t come home for days he wonders whether the cat likes him.

Once, Lyon said, Peanut was gone for a week or so when his collar fell off. Eventually a neighbor brought him back. She said she and Bay worry when Peanut leaves for extended periods of time.

While both Lyon and Bay said they’re glad others enjoy hanging out with Peanut, Bay said his cat would be best described as a “man-whore.”

He’s also cunning, wily, and “kind of plays hard to get,” Bay said.

Reker and Bisbach said Peanut is very friendly and open-minded toward different kinds of people. Young described him as relaxed and chill.

“He’s a cool cat.”

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