Kitty of the Month

Veterinary students create calendar celebrating the feline mystique

Intertwined limbs. Deviant behavior. Luxurious fur. Bodies posed with legs akimbo. Coy glances. All make an appearance in a new calendar produced by veterinary students at Tufts.

However, these playmates of the month have four legs and were chosen from among 230 photos the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine community submitted to the Tufts student chapter of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

The annual Tufts Cats calendar has proven a surefire breadwinner, says Melissa Yu, V13, vice president of the student group, which is known as the “cat club” on the Grafton campus. The 2011 edition raised $475 to help fund events the association sponsors for its 50 members and for the veterinary student body, including talks on cat nutrition, behavior and gastrointestinal parasites and labs on feline dentistry and neurology.

This year, more than 70 students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends submitted photos. The six association officers picked the ones that elicited the strongest collective response, Yu says. “When there’s one where everyone goes, Awww, or people laugh, you know that’s a winner,” she says.

There are 50 feline stars in the 2012 calendar. Between four and six cats are featured each month, grouped by themes such “love” for February and “back to school” for September.

The secret to taking a great photo of your favorite kitty is to avoid “expecting too much,” says Yu. “Cats have their own agenda most of the time. As one my friends said, ‘When taking pictures of my cats at home, the harder I try, the more I fail. But if I sit back and let them just be themselves, I capture great moments.’ ”

The 2012 calendars ($15 for the first calendar, $10 for each additional calendar) will be available for sale at the Cummings School’s Holiday Craft Fair & Student Sale, which takes place Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Elms Café in the Agnes Varis Campus Center.

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If you are on a Tufts campus, you can place an order by emailing Include your full name, student year or department and number of calendars requested. Payment can be made out to Tufts AAFP and will be accepted at the holiday fair or through campus mail to Heidi Broadley, V13, Cummings School. For those off-campus, a limited number of calendars are available. Email to check on availability. 

Genevieve Rajewski can be reached at

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