Rudy the CatA new four-legged member of Perry Wellness Center arrived on campus last week, apparently drawn by the active market corner. Rudy’s Happy Patch Market has drawn many customers, peers, and other visitors to its stalls since it opened, and our new feline friend is just the latest.

Since the cat debuted at the market, she was christened “Rudy” in honor of Rudy’s Happy Patch Market namesake Rudy Hayes. Rudy was a longtime friend and mental health advocate who participated in Stuart Perry’s Journey for Life to Chicago and wrote a subsequent book about the experience.

After reminiscing about his old friend, Stuart commented on the newest member of the Perry Wellness family: “This will remind us of a great supporter and friend.” And on a practical note, he added, “I am happy that we have this cat on our campus to maybe rid the area of mice! We will feed and water her as she wants.”

When the somewhat wild feline first arrived, she was unapproachable, refusing to be picked up or even touched. But staff member Phyllis Smith craftily created a lure to coax the timid animal. Now the small cat will occasionally come out to greet market customers.

Rudy joins our long-time canine mascot, Gracie. As of this writing, the two have not met, but we are eager to see their reactions and are prepared to hold Gracie’s leash a little tighter. Welcome to the family, Rudy!

In the above photo, Phyllis Smith offers Rudy the Cat her string lure.

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