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Lander, Wyoming – Seven months after they were last seen by their Freshmen owners, the seven cats of the seven dorms have officially been reported dead by the Wyoming Fish and Wildlife Service. Discovered nearly all at once in October of 2018 by Freshmen and one or two Sophomores who stayed in town during the Fall Outdoor Week, they were a clandestine fixture of dorm life in the absence of lawful authority (prefects)

Known to wander in and out of the unprotected dorms on their own and fed by scraps from those left behind in Lander, they were officially known as the “dorm cats” until they strangely disappeared at the same time as the prefects returned. Coincidence? Their direct owners, speaking under condition of anonymity for the sake of their own “personal safety” believe they were “confiscated and dropped off at NOLS even as the school denies any knowledge of their existence at all. This led angry students to demand an investigation by the Fish and Wildlife Service, which has, in a strange break of protocol, declined to provide details of their investigation other than that the seven cats are dead.

One of the seven famous dorm cats

Brandon Tillman, a WCC Sophomore from Wisconsin, offers that they could have simply died off from neglect when the pressure of studies took away any interest in their care from owners. “When they ate up all the food in the dorms, all the crumbs, all the chips, even chewing on John Wayne a bit, they simply starved.”

But this “explanation” is unacceptable to the poetic minds of some WCC Sophomores, who counter with the suggestion that the cats simply each met up with a dog, and “ate eachother up” as in Eugene Field’s epic, The Duel:

 The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
'T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t' other had slept a wink!
      The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
      Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
            (I was n't there; I simply state
            What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)
The gingham dog went "Bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "Mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
      While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
      Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
            (Now mind: I'm only telling you
            What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)
The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
      Employing every tooth and claw
      In the awfullest way you ever saw—
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
            (Don't fancy I exaggerate—
            I got my news from the Chinese plate!)
Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
      But the truth about the cat and pup
      Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
            (The old Dutch clock it told me so,
            And that is how I came to know.)

But since this sort of substantial change leading to no substance from two substances is impossible according to WCC Philosophy professors we interviewed, we’re still very much in the dark, other than the official proclamation of an agency of the United States’ government that they’re dead.

And as the school denies doing any enforcement actions upon such living creatures as cats, we can’t investigate much along that line of thinking either.