Seniors rally funds to save beloved cat

Three Northwestern seniors raised more than $500 to fund a surgery for their cat, Jasper. Friends, family and members of the NU community donated to the effort, which took less than one week.

Source: Facebook

Three Northwestern seniors raised more than $500 to fund a surgery for their cat, Jasper. Friends, family and members of the NU community donated to the effort, which took less than one week.

Ally Mutnick, Reporter

Instead of writing her thesis one Saturday, Weinberg senior Chelsea Glenn made what she calls “a preposterous cat video.”

The short clip was part of a campaign created by three Northwestern seniors that raised more than $500 in less than a week to fund a surgery for their ailing cat.

Jasper, a white and gray cat, suffers from a painful condition where some of his teeth are reabsorbed into his gums. Glenn and her roommates turned to the NU community to help pay for the cat’s procedure. After a May 16 surgery, Jasper is now fully recovered.

“He was in a lot of pain, so it wasn’t something we could just ignore,” Glenn said. “I didn’t think we would get that much money in four days, but he is very loveable.”

About 20 people donated in total, including assistant dean Mark Sheldon and Sergio Serritella, a private detective who does work for Medill. The fundraising took place in late April for Jasper’s surgery this month.

Jasper has his own Facebook event, Twitter hashtag — #savejasper — and the promotional video to encourage donations. Glenn and her roommates also created an account on the crowdfunding site YouCaring.com where they raised the money.

Glenn’s video opens with Jasper dancing to rap music by 2 Chainz and ends with a description of his disease and a plea for donations while Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” plays in the background.

“I was surprised by how many people donated and how much they were willing to donate,” said Medill senior Natalie Krebs, who co-owns Jasper. “I think the video was kind of ridiculous, and people enjoyed that.”

The owners first noticed Jasper’s uncharacteristically bad breath. After bringing him to the veterinarian, they learned the condition causes inflammation, infections and mouth pain.

The nature of Jasper’s disease means it may reoccur throughout his life, Krebs said. The final cost for the surgery was about $700.

Krebs said without the campaign, the owners would have faced a more significant financial burden to save Jasper. Glenn said her mother suggested euthanizing him, but the owners wanted to save the cat.

“We’re very grateful to everyone who donated,” Glenn said. “He seems like he’s back to his normal happy self.”

Sheldon said he donated because he was glad the owners were taking care of the cat. He said he has heard stories of some NU students abandoning pets once they graduate.

“I was actually moved by the fact that Chelsea was trying to do something,” he said. “She was setting a very good example that involved responsible guardianship.”

Glenn and her roommates, Krebs and Weinberg senior Noeli Serna, inherited the cat from Claire Hunt (SESP ’12) last year after she moved to California. Hunt donated $50 because she said Jasper was like another roommate to her.

Hunt said her friends were fond of Jasper and eager to donate.

“He’s a powerful cat that brings people together,” she said. “People like the idea of helping, and he’s a great cat.”