Leland High School’s mascot is the Charger, a shield-carrying knight who rides a horse and presumably flings bolts of lightning at anyone who gets in his way (or asks why his horse doesn’t have back legs). But its unofficial mascot is a ginger cat named Bubba, who has been unofficially but enthusiastically attending the San Jose, California, high school for the past six years. The cat is such a familiar presence on campus that he’s been issued his very own student ID, one that helpfully notes that he’s a feline.
For the most part, Bubba is a normal high schooler. He sleeps during class, partially pays attention during soccer practice and has his own Facebook account. He was adopted by Amber Marienthal and her family in 2009 and, because they live just behind the school, Bubba began finding his way onto the property — and then eventually into the hallways and the classrooms.
“He waits for school to start, and he doesn’t come home until all the sports are done,” Marienthal told the San Jose Mercury News. “As long as he’s alive, I think he’ll hang out at the school.”
In addition to getting his own ID, Bubba has also been profiled in the student newspaper and in the yearbook. The students at the neighboring middle school tried to get a statue erected in his honor (that didn’t happen) and Marienthal hopes that Bubba will get his own cap and gown next year, so he can “graduate” with the students who have grown up with their feline classmate. Until then, he’ll share the deets of his school year on Facebook.
“People want me to get him on Instagram,” Marienthal told the paper. “I only have so much time to devote to my cat’s social life.”