Farewell to Diego the cat, the feline mascot of the veterinary university of Lodi

The veterinary university of Lodi has lost an esteemed member this fall. Diego, the tabby cat, passed after twenty years of cuddling and inspired purrs.

Originally, the calico puss was a stray who became a beloved fixture of the veterinary hospital’s classrooms and offices.

Federica Pirrone, a professor of veterinary medicine at the Statale university, reveals that Diego was originally part of a colony. Pirrone’s team later adopted him with three other cats while they were in Milan.

When the professor was appointed to a new post and subsequently moved to Lodi, she took Diego with her. At his new rural campus, the critter quickly found his footing.

The steady supply of fresh food in his bowl and the cuddles from students facilitated his insertion into the new environment.

Furthermore, Diego’s keen senses, versatility, and skill as a hunter kept the local mouse and rat populations under control. Therefore, the campus’s horses, calves, and swine also benefitted from the kitten’s arrival.

During his tenure at the university, Diego witnessed loads of hopeful students gradually become veterinarians. He made the university his playground and would explore the long halls and the busy auditoriums.

The calico had no issues with human interactions.

” You could find him lying on the desk of a student who wanted to finish her exam paper, or on your desk during a conference or an international congress.,” explains Pirrone.

The feline mascot was popular

When coronavirus struck, and the lockdown was established, Diego stayed with the guard personnel, allowed to remain on the premises. According to the staff, the puss patrolled the halls and classrooms with the awkward authority of a rector.

 One of those guards, Mrs. Rosetta, took excellent care of the cat until his passing in October 2022.

Diego will be sorely missed. The kitten had a presence resembling that of a protector, mascot, or even a spiritual leader. He was an institution in his own right at Lodi.

For twenty years, he went to the classrooms at eight o’clock every morning, where he stayed until six o’clock at night. Then, the feline would make a remarkable entrance, announcing his presence with a subtle meow.

 Students saw him as the lucky charm to be counted on before an exam and the friend to be thanked after a good grade. Thus, Diego allowed himself to be pampered while maintaining his natural grace and pride.

His departure represents the end of an era for Veronica Perroni, teachers, and students alike.

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