“The Halls Cat is in fact named Herman, the pet of assistant warden, Thomas Archer, who adopted him along with his brother Coco from the DSPCA when he made his move to Halls in 2010. Upon arrival, Herman and Coco were even more eager to make friends and interact with new people than the fresh-faced freshers, escaping out of the bathroom window of Oldham House at night to explore and discover.”
Trinity Hall is known by all as the second home of Trinity Students from all over the country and further afield. It houses a diverse array of residents, all from different backgrounds, cultures and walks of life. Each brings their own unique personality traits and sense of character, which contributes to creating a strong spirit of community in Halls. One such resident, deserving a special mention, is the Halls Cat.
A celebrity figure, the cat is known and loved by all Halls residents, students and staff alike. The furry feline can always be found lurking, day or night, at the steps of Oldham House or near the green at the side of Cunningham House, seeking attention and affection from residents. However, despite the cat’s popularity, few people know much regarding its background.
The Halls Cat is in fact named Herman, the pet of assistant warden, Thomas Archer, who adopted him along with his brother Coco from the DSPCA when he made his move to Halls in 2010. Upon arrival, Herman and Coco were even more eager to make friends and interact with new people than the fresh-faced freshers, escaping out of the bathroom window of Oldham House at night to explore and discover.
The two took over Trinity Hall quickly, seizing their territory and establishing authority over Kim, the Warden’s cat, who was frequently subjected to terrifying ambushes at the hands of the pair. Unfortunately, in 2012 tragedy struck and Coco was killed on the road, leaving behind his brother Herman as the sole alpha cat. I am told that to this day Herman possesses a strong fear of cars, staying well away from the roads as well as the drivers at Halls at all times, confining himself to the safety of the footpaths and the green.
However, it’s evident that Herman certainly isn’t lonely. Members of staff at Trinity Hall admit that every year the cat forms special bonds with particular residents, who often spend hours on end enjoying his company. One resident spoke of her encounter with Herman:
“I was sitting alone on the bench by the river talking on the phone one night and he came and jumped up onto my lap and started purring. It was a spiritual experience”
Herman always craves love and attention and is constantly seeking to be petted and pampered by Halls dwellers. His friendly and cuddly nature makes it difficult to ignore or walk away from him, as another resident described:
“I stooped down to check my mailbox once and he head-butted my knees before jumping into my lap. I didn’t want to let go and missed my bus. It was totally worth it though.”
Despite his friendly nature towards humans, which grants him the title of the one true Halls Cat, Herman is definitely not without a few rivals. Through investigation, it has been discovered that presently a turf war is ongoing between Herman and the two black cats living in the Botanical Gardens behind House 82. Despite the odd struggle, a member of the Halls security team has assured me that: “Herman has established himself as the leader of the gaff”.
On top of turf wars, Herman also feuds daily with the Warden’s Cat, Kim, even going as far as to steal her food. Strong and stubborn in nature, one resident confessed that she had once been followed by Herman into her third floor apartment, where he immediately made himself at home among her roommates, refusing to leave until he was fed (and on that, turning up his nose at Tesco own-brand tuna in favor of John West).
Herman is unique among his species, displaying a sense of energy and excitement in place of a characteristically lazy nature. Certain residents have observed him chasing tennis balls around the lawn by Cunningham house, and even his owner admits to often having to remind Herman that he is not a dog when he accompanies him on walks.
Most of Trinity Hall’s residents are experiencing living away from home for the first time. For many, this can be an incredibly daunting experience and often people tend to miss the homely and familial atmosphere that they have become accustomed to. The Halls Cat makes this adjustment considerably easier, bringing spirit to the lives of all residents, making him an incredibly valued member of the Trinity Hall community.