Cats. Some people love them, some hate them, only one side is correct…Cat’s rule! Not only do they capture the hearts of so many cat-owners everywhere, they practically run the Internet. You can’t scroll on virtually any social media platform for more than 5 minutes without seeing at least one cat meme or post. I’m not complaining though.
As useless as a cat can sometimes seem, they’re actually an extremely valuable keystone species. A keystone species is an animal that would drastically affect the populations of multiple other species on the food chain for worse were they to suddenly disappear. Cats are a very effective source of pest-control around the world. So, next time you hear someone say, “I don’t like cats, they’re useless.” You can confidently respond; “I hope you like rats then, because without cats, we would be surrounded by them!”
To use cats as a form of free pest-control is a practice businesses have used for centuries. In the modern world, most outdoor organizations have at least one cat to keep their rodent populations at bay. In Philadelphia, PA, the Longwood Botanical Gardens have employed a number of on-site cats to help protect their plant populations. One cat in particular, Persimmon, has gone viral for her inefficient work and tendency to slack off on the job.
The tweet exposing Persimmon that was posted by PhD Biologist Sarah McAnulty, encouraged fans to come forth about their personal experiences with her at Longwood.
Persimmon is one of the 14 cats that resides at Longwood, and apparently the most famous. After Sarah saw the mischievous orange cat being escorted out of a night-time event on property, she just had to know more. She asked the worker “Is [S]he not welcome here?” to which the man vaguely responded,
“[S]he shows up at the most inopportune moments.”
Below, is the tweet that set off a conversation from cat lovers everywhere.
BoredPanda got in touch with Dr. McAnulty about her post, to which she stated,
“Many people immediately recognized her from my tweet, even though I didn’t include a picture. Folks started replying with their pictures of her and they were the exact same cat. She apparently is one of Longwood’s resident cats and is often found wandering around the conservatory.”
People began sharing their own personal experiences with Persimmon, and the plot thickened!
At this point, it’s becoming obvious that our beloved Persimmon isn’t beating any stereotypes, and like all cats, LOVES being the center of attention. Tweeters continued to share their Persimmon encounters, leaving viewers to wonder, is this cat ever actually doing her job? It seems this cat had self-promoted herself to be the Longwood mascot!
But why was sweet, innocent Persimmon escorted off of property?
The Longwood website and tweeters speculated that Persimmon was probably being relocated back to her respective territory. Turns out, each of the 14 cats on property are responsible for regulating their own little space in the garden, but Persimmon has a bad habit of leaving her post in favor of getting attention from the human visitors. Sarah suggested why Persimmon had been exiled from where she was at the time:
“I suspect walking into places that cats aren’t supposed to go, like underfoot in the dark like she was when I met her, or maybe climbing in a Christmas tree around the holidays. Persimmon seems to enjoy being the center of attention, and she deserves it.”
The photo replies of our little orange and white star continued to flood in…
Dr. McAnulty’s tweet set off a chain of responses from orange cat owners everywhere…
Sarah was quite surprised to see that many people recognized this particular cat from her simple description. Those who didn’t recognize the cat still took the opportunity to share some pictures of their own orange cats- who are known for their big personalities. Many viewers said they would totally watch a sitcom about Persimmon, and now it basically has to happen.
I have an orange cat of my own, and his personality is definitely up to par with Persimmon and all her orange counterparts pictured above!
The tweet went viral with almost 60k likes and 3,200 retweets!
It didn’t take long for Sarah’s tweet to go viral with nearly 60,000 likes and over 3,200 retweets. You can check out the original tweet here, and see more of Longwood Gardens’ cats here. Sarah made it a point to say she would be keeping an out for Persimmon next time she visits the botanical garden, so the saga might continue. If you ever end up going to Longwood Gardens, keep an eye out for Persimmon, although she may find her way to you first!