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The Email That Started It

Since last year's April Fool's joke went so well, we decided to start even earlier this year...

UACS VP Social sent the following email out to, and March 28 to announce that UACS had bought a cat to boost morale.
Hey everyone! Just think - only three more weeks left to go. Then you get to write exams...

We here at UACS understand how stressful this time of year can be. That's why we've called in a little help to boost morale. What kind of help, you ask? Well, UACS now has a cat. That's right - four legs and fur, our as-yet unnamed cat is running around the building spreading joy and hairballs. We're also running a contest to name the feisty feline. Email in your suggestions - we'll announce the winning entry next week. Catnip is on sale in the UACS office. Please note - the catnip is for the cat, it is not a cheap replacement for those of you who smoke.

For those of you who are starting to think about summer employment, UACS has the answer. Check out http: a listing of the job opportunities that UACS has been made aware of. This list is religiously updated by our secretary, REALNAMEHERE.

Of course, CMPUT 469 will be held on Thursday. Meet at the office at 5:00 pm and we'll all head over to Dewey's. This time if year, it's important to relax once in a while and remember there's more to life than writing code. If relaxing isn't your thing, how about free food? UACS will, of course, be providing appetizers.

Stay tuned for information regarding our famous end-of-term LAN party. It's always fun to blow off steam by blowing (virtual) things up!

That's it for this week - remember, if you're approaching our cat, try to wear something with long sleeves. We haven't had a chance to get it de-clawed yet, so it may leave a mark if it tries to scratch you. Similarly, please try to be careful not to lock the cat out of the building or in any labs. UACS hasn't had time to cut any cat doors in any walls yet, so if it gets stuck outside or in a lab, it won't be able to get to any food or water.

UACS VP Scratched To Shreds

The Replies Started Pouring In...

I trust that it is not a real cat as pets are not allowed in University buildings.
do you guys seriously have a cat?!
This shouldn't be strictly necessary; just socialize the cat properly!
:-) (And provide a scratching post!)

Where does this alleged cat live?
How about Nibbles (or Nybbles)? It has some nerd-appeal, but also makes sense to non-geeks.
What about Mouse?

Also, are we able to put restrictions on where the cat can travel, for those in the department alergic to her? I love the idea of having a cat around, great for stress relief, but, I don't want someone who can't handle her fur to be trapped outside the building.

We couldn`t let such a valid concern go unanswered...


This was a major concern to us so we did some research and discovered that Allerca have a product which allows even people who are alergic to cats to interact with them. I like to think of it as laminating the cat*. You can read more here: http: treating the cat with Allerca Felis ACS Fenda and also Felis ACS Derma. Although I don't look forward to washing the cat every week :(

LOL. Have fun with that one VPINTERNAL! Better get her de-clawed soon, then :D. I'd be afraid to see your body (because you know she'll get more than just your arms) after two weeks.

(Very greatful to not be the cat's keeper!)
We have that all covered http: nothing but masters of research over here. Still I remember the last cat washing incident in my life was, umm, interesting. Be sure to drop by tomorrow and enter the naming contest.

Hook, line, and sinker...

What do you mean you have a cat?
Seriously? You guys have a cat? That's awesome.
Where is it? Is it tied up?
"glitch" sounds like an appropriate name for a strange feline haunting the hallways and labs of the CSC, while scaring unaware coders :)

[C programmers do it with long pointers!]

Soon the professors started to check their email...

I hope you don't really have a cat. A number of us, myself included, are very very allergic to cats, and have serious reactions. Killing off profs is a definite way to ensure that you don't graduate.


Not graduate? That's something we take very seriously in UACS...


This was a major concern to us so we did some research and discovered that Allerca have a product which allows even people who are alergic to cats to interact with them. I like to think of it as laminating the cat*. You can read more here: http: treating the cat with Allerca Felis ACS Fenda and also Felis ACS Derma. Although I don't look forward to washing the cat every week :(


*Cat is not actually laminated

That didn't placate NAMELESSPROFESSOR. Not by a long shot...

I'm still opposed to having the cat in the building. It isn't necessary for the academic purposes of the department.

Also, I don't believe that animals are allowed in campus buildings unless they are guide-dogs, or have the appropriate animal care facilities. You better get the Chair's approval on this one.


This guy's more of a dog person

Please tell me that uacs did not seriously get a cat. Some people are rather allergic to cats and I don't think you would want to make their lives miserable.

Meanwhile, UACS was having a small management crisis because the lies were growing so big. We had to organize the BS.

Okay just to keep everybody up to date on the lies this is what I have claimed so far:

-No declawing
-Use that product i mentioned in several e-mails to prevent allergies
-The cat is not here yet, VPMUSCLES still has it at home because we haven't bought all the supplies yet
-It will live in the office at night but during the day it will run free
How about you just name it /dev/null

We received the following response to our offers to shampoo the cat with allergy-reducing products:

And if those don't work as well as you hope uacs will absorb the cost of shampooing all the carpets etc? What about any property the cat damages?

Oh my... hopefully this guy's CS degree works out.

as I was leaving the uacs office (henceforth should be know as /dev/null, so that we can pipe cat to /dev/null at the end of the day) I heard someone already repeating my latest bad pun, so I thought I should record it as mine:

UACS the cat.

This leads to rule number 1:

UACS the cat, we whacks you.

There was a 5-minute delay in the onslaught of email UACS was receiving in regards to our cat. El Presidente decided to milk it (yes, yes I did) for all it was worth.

First off I would like to apologize for the little present that our cat made in 1-59 yesterday. For those of you who mentioned it to us thank you very much. William (VP Bounty) was quickly dispatched with a plastic fork and some cleaner to eleminate the offender. If anyone finds any more little gems please come by our office ASAP and let us know.

The cat naming contest has been voted upon and the winning name is 'CORE'. If anyone spots our cat, please call it this and give it a pat on the head. We need to start training it as soon as we can.

In that vain, if anyone has actually seen our cat today can you let us know where you saw it. We are getting a little concerned about its whereabouts and our worried something has happend to the poor little guy.

Thanks very much!!
UACS President
Information you should know just in case their are legal actions should the "always-lost" CORE do anything untoward.

Even by Thursday, many people still seemed to be in the dark about the whole thing.

Hi there!

I was just wondering: are you even allowed to have a cat running around in a building? What about people with allergies?

This polite and articulate gentleman had to let his views on the subject be known:

I really don't know what the folks in the UACS are thinking, but having a cat with sharp claws free to go anywhere it feels like in our building is just messed up. The cat actually attacking me and damaging my new jeans is just f#$#ed up. What if somebody with exposed skin gets attacked by this stupid cat? Who's gonna be responsible? Plus, some poeple are allergic to cats, and having cat hair around the building is unacceptable. I really hope the faculty could step in and knock some sense into these people's heads.

Next time I see the little sh#@, I'm gonna kick the hell out of the bugger.

Hey everyone. Just a short update from cat central...

If you run into any sort of, shall we say, "feline byproducts" in the building, send an email to to have VP Bounty investigate with his top-of-the-line tools - a plastic fork and a piece of saran wrap. Why do we call him VP Bounty? Because he's a quicker-picker-upper...

In other news, a picture of our cat, CORE, is available on the front page of http:

Speaking of CORE, we couldn't find him this evening when we went to put him in the office. If anyone knows where he is, could they please let us know.

UACS Bean Burrito
Thank-you for alerting us to your feline infestation problem. I have informed the campus fumigation unit. They require that you clear all furniture out of the UACS office by noon so they can clean up and disinfect.

Do locate dear little CORE quickly (by the end of today, April 1). We would hate you to have to clear the rest of the building as well.

Alas, poor CORE could not have foreseen what would happen when he put a power cable between his teeth...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news on this a happy labour day, but alas the UACS cat has gone missing. Late last night we found him in lab 2-19 behind a machine. In his last moments he was enjoying a tasty snack on a power cable.

We at UACS heartily apologize for not having a backup cat readily available, but with all the uproar our little furry friend caused we feel it best not to replace him immediately. VP William is investigating a rabbit for next year as many people feel that a roaming animal is not the way to go.

If anyone wishes to pay their respects to our lost little friend we have collected CORE and his toys and are holding a small low key wake in our office (CSC-124) today. He will be returned to the SPCA tonight for a proper burial. The way Buddah would have wanted.

Thanks for your understanding,
UACS President

Many people sent in their condolences, others tried to make it look like they knew it was a hoax all along.

Rats, now I have to throw away the cat license I got for VPINTERNAL. Even though it looked suspiciously like a dog license with "dog" crossed out and "cat" written below in crayon. If I see the cat detector van around, maybe I'll be able to get a refund.

By the way, with respect to deceased cats, commonly referred to as ( --life == 0) cats, you also have to follow proper WMHS guidelines for disposal of hazardous waste.

Sorry to hear your loss ... such a sad start to April.
Nevertheless, we do have the technology to remember him forever on our systems ....

1) try to find core
find ~ -name 'core' -print

2) if not, restore a copy
cp /bin/cat ~/core

3) check that it works
cd; echo "meow" | core

4) if not, debug
gdb core

5) avoid any more "gems"
limit coredumpsize 0


Now here's a man that knows exactly what he wants in life:

Terribly sad.

So... Does the wake have free booze?


Meanwhile, a storm of controversy was brewing on the ugrads newsgroup...

ITT new cat and declawing.

All respect to the UACS crew for acquiring a cat, but for the love of pete, do NOT have it declawed. Try to imagine having your fingers cut off at the first knuckle, and then having to *walk on your hands* and you approximate the declawing experience.

I'm not a PETA-ey sort (unless you use it to signify People for the Eating of Tasty Animals) but declawing a cat is a good indication that the cat would be better off elsewhere.

So, if the mention of it was a joke in the update, good. Otherwise, think better of it, or give the cat to someone less inclined to mutilate the little bugger (and not me -- I already have three, and only enough space for one)

I cannot agree more. Declawing leaves cats without the ability to manipulate their environment. Last I checked we don't have a ton of leather furniture around, so this is totally not required.

Also, I can't believe you got a cat. It's totally insane. Who authorized it?

Where will this cat live? Where is the litter box? Who is the primary care-giver/bond? Am I paying for the cats food and eventual vet bills?

This cat would be better off elsewhere. If there was no proper home for this cat, have you considered the SPCA?

People don't expect to run into pets in their office environment, and as much as I love animals I have to agree. Many people are allergic, or simply dislike animals, and should've have to deal with that in their place of school or business.

This was a terrible idea,


Cats live upwards of 15 years and enjoy a life of predictability. Is it part of the new UACS President's job to take care of the cat when all you kiddies graduate? Do you think the cat will enjoy having its owner(s) replaced every 3-5 years?
We will NOT be having the cat declawed. VPSOCIAL is just behind the times. But we have the claw thing all covered http: We are nothing but masters of research over here. Be sure to drop by tomorrow and enter the naming contest.
Ah, yes, I've seen those things around. I hear they work very well. So, where is said cat being kept? I think that having a cat officially makes comp sci the coolest department around.
I'm actually pretty surprised why UACS would want to keep an animal in the building. It's likely against U of A policy, and yes, many people are allergic to animals, so what you're doing is spreading cat dander everywhere. Perhaps none of the UACS executive is so lucky to be allergic but I wonder why no one thought of that?

That was a *lousy* decision. I can't help but think UACS is on a slide...

This may be of interest:

UACS may want to exercise due diligence and contact
Ray Dumouchel
Associate Director, Buildings and Grounds Services
to see if it's kosher to let a cat wander around a building.

(I'll take a wild guess that they'll say: no)

Oh yeah, did UACS talk to the CS Dep't?

I don't know if this is for real or an early April fool's joke or what.

However, I am deathly allergic to cats. I don't want to worry about allergies when I am sitting in class writing an exam or working in the lab. I have nothing personal against cats, but get rid of the damn thing, it has no place in a work environment.

At this point its important to note that WHOOPSIMISSEDTHEJOKE graduated from grad school a year ago and has not met most of the current UACS executive. Apparently he is still qualified to pass judgment.

It would be a great joke except it sounds all too much like something the current UACS group would do... and yes, it is a little early. :)
Why don't you just domesticate and declaw me and put me in a cage and make me eat food that's 56% ash, meat-eater?

Then I can poop in a box and do tricks for you. Maybe I'll chase some string when you wiggle it about. You'd like that, wouldn't you?

Here's a link that I think might be helpful to you torturers and murderers:


I believe in karma fyi and I hope in your next life that you get raised in the cramped conditions of a cat farm, then sold at the farmer's market, then PUT ON THE GRILL AND EATEN.

Maybe then you'd see.

- Programmer for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
I'm sorry to hear that you insist on subscribing to such archaic notions. Furthermore, I already did my karmic time lower on the scratching post, as it were, and now have earned my position higher on the food chain.

For your temerity in supporting the cause of lesser creatures over those concerns of higher primates, you will, of course, be condemned to be served as the meat course... well, _a_ meat course at the annual banquet of my organization.

Our lawyers are contacting yours regarding the abuse of our acronym, as well.

- People for the Eating of Tasty Animals
If this whole thing isn't a joke, is it seriously going through? How can I formerly protest? Shouldn't we be able to vote on things like this? It's not like your decision won't affect the entire department.

You still haven't addressed the financial issue. If you think that a cat wouldn't require an investment, you're mistaken.

Honestly, why don't you get a fish instead? At least see if you're capable of taking care of something living.

Did you know that we sell ridiculously cheap snacks and drinks? It's true!

During the the Fall and Winter semesters, our VP Social sends out weekly updates to keep you up to date on the latest activities in the department. If you're not in the department and still want to hear about our valiant efforts, send us an email and we'll send you the intel.

UACS has a brand new kettle this year. It doesn't taste like plastic because it's not made of plastic. To find out what it's made of, stop by the office!

We have the sexiest lockers on campus for only $10 per term plus a $5 lock deposit. Come get one while they're hot!