By Hector Condori
Dozens of party hat wearers were seen gathered at Mirror Lake on October 22. At first glance, it could be seen as a typical birthday get together on campus, until the crowds reveal two cats.
An invitation to Bebo’s 2nd birthday party was posted on the UConn subreddit by user aephire a day before the planned date. The post included a photo of a sitting Bebo next to a speech bubble that says, “I am a little birthday boy!”. According to several attendees, they found out about the special occasion through Reddit.
Bebo’s first birthday party was done virtually through Zoom, which allowed viewers to participate with their own cats. Not only did cats attend the party, but so did other pets like dogs and birds. Everybody wished Bebo a happy birthday and stuck around a little longer either talking about their pets. This laid the foundation for future birthday parties.
Those who came to Mirror Lake were greeted with a party hat, a cupcake, and a sticker of the birthday boy himself. Bebo was first spotted laying in the shade of a tree as he nibbled on the grass while his brother Soup wandered near the bushes, as if he wanted to take a swim on the lake. Each cat had their own group of fascinated spectators, forming an arc as if it were a Roman war formation. It was clear that everyone was in awe of their adorable presence.
Bebo’s guests came for different yet similar reasons. You don’t get to stumble across a birthday party for a cat that often, so bystanders took the opportunity to participate. Others wanted to spend a Friday afternoon with good vibes. “I was trying to get a little happier Friday and make some other people’s Friday happier” said Tommy Anderson. Of course, the most common reason was Bebo himself.
Unfortunately, the number of feline attendees decreased this year. Being the only other cat besides the birthday boy and his brother, JJ was Bebo’s best chance for a new friend. JJ arrived inside a cat backpack with his owner Tommy Anderson and eventually made his way to Bebo. It started out with a nose touch, which is a cat’s way of a handshake, but sadly ended on a low note when the two distanced themselves. It’s known that cats are quite the introverts when it comes to interacting with other cats, so the outcome wasn’t much of a surprise. Still, they appreciated each other’s presence throughout the party as everybody got to meet the cats.
After exploring what Mirror Lake had to offer, Soup made his way to the cat cage for some rest. As for Bebo, he enjoyed the rest of his party being greeted and petted by his guests. Attendees expressed their thoughts and emotions towards the cat following the happy birthday song. “Happy birthday. He’s so cute and I hope he enjoys the grass he’s eating today.” said Anderson.