Sorrow at loss of Buckingham's most famous cat
Much-loved university moggy, who comforted students during lockdown, has died after being hit by a car
The University of Buckingham is mourning the loss of a much-loved presence, with the sad news that Dennis the university cat has died.
News broke on Wednesday, March 31, on Dennis's own Facebook page, The Adventures of Dennis the Cat, that Dennis had died after being hit by a car outside the Vinson Building.
People were quick to post tributes to the popular feline, who was well known on campus and had been a comfort to locked-down students during the pandemic.
Alison Cameron, from the university bookshop, posted on Facebook: "My Darling little Bookshop buddy - Dennis. We will miss you so much. You were a taker of treats, a master of every place you chose to grace with your presence but mostly a wonderful furry friend who always knew who needed your company. I can't quite and don't want to believe it."
Another Dennis fan said: "Just seen this terrible news - Dennis really was the sweetest cat! We saw him almost every day in Reception over a period of around 7 or 8 years! Adorable to see him waiting on the window ledge of Yeomanry House so many times! Staff, students and visitors loved him he was such a character and will be sorely missed."
And another said: "Can you imagine the amount of people who came to Buckingham Uni and called home to explain that there is a random cat who sneaks through their window to eat their food, cuddle, and sleep with them? Its not every day you hear that! Just imagine the stories and the delight. It is a wonderful thought that Dennis has clearly had such a massive impact on so many people."
Student case officer Julie Cakebread used to feed Dennis at 8am every morning when she got into work.
She said: "While reception was in Yeomanry House, he was waiting on the window sill every day for his first breakfast.
"I think everyone will miss him. He used to go round all the offices for food or a sleep.
"We've had students out there crying by the flowers."
A university spokesman told the Advertiser: "We send our heartfelt condolences to Dennis’ owners. For the last decade, Dennis has been a much-loved member of our university family. He has comforted and delighted university students and staff. He loved to visit staff in all the university offices and his presence made a visit to the university extra special for many, many visitors to Buckingham. He has been a comfort to students who have been on campus in lockdown.
“He will be sorely missed by the university community but his memory will live on. His Facebook page filled with hundreds of lovely pictures of Dennis on campus brightening up the day for students and staff alike is full of wonderful memories to treasure. RIP Dennis.”
The university's former vice-chancellor, Sir Anthony Seldon, spoke of the comfort Dennis had given him, after his wife died.
He said: "Dennis touched everyone he met. He used to sit on my sofa and even sat in my in tray sometimes.
"I couldn't resist giving him a saucer of milk when he followed me home to my vice-chancellor's residence.
"He was a source of comfort to me after my wife Joanna passed away. Animals are so important for wellbeing. Many students have told me that giving him a cuddle really gave them a boost."
A blue plaque memorial to Dennis has been suggested, and tributes are being added to the 'Dennis' tree outside the Vinson Centre.
And Bard of Buckingham, Dean Jones, has written a tribute to Buckingham’s most famous cat, entitled 'Morning Dennis’. See www.facebook.com/TheBardofBuckingham