By Clinton Dick
Staff reporter

He is the king of his domain. The idol of Southwestern, the Jinx cat, struts about his castle every day, making Stewart Field House his prized kingdom.

The first official Jinx cat came on campus in the late 1980s when Nancy Durbin, former athletic secretary, asked Bill Stephens, former athletic director, if she could let the cat stay in the building.

“I said it was fine as long as she took care of it,” said Stephens.

Durbin’s black cat would not only start a tradition at the school, but help out with some of the problems around the field house.

“I remember sitting in my office and the cat would come in carrying a mouse in its mouth to show us he was doing his job,” said Stephens. “Since then, we haven’t had any mice.”

Jinx had a way of adding to the pressures of playing in Stewart Field House for opposing teams whenever there was a basketball game taking place.

“He would sit under the stage and watch the game,” said Durbin. “The opposing teams would get mad because the cat would sit under the goal where they were trying to shoot. It was the cat’s gym.”

The same black cat no longer roams the cavernous field house, but Jinx still lives on through a black cat watched over by Jeanice Lowry, athletic secretary.

“I have always enjoyed cats and dogs,” said Lowry. “I feed and water him every day, clean his litter box and make sure he gets his vaccinations every year. Other than that he is pretty maintenance-free.”

Jinx lives much like his predecessors, roaming his castle from day to day, finding certain spots that he enjoys the most.

“I was here alone last summer and I went into the gym to call for him and he was sitting up by the stain glass window,” said Lowry. “He likes windows because he likes to look outside.”

Jinx will not be running away from Stewart anytime soon despite his interest of the outside world.

“I tried setting him outside one day, but he wanted to come back in immediately,” said Lowry. “He doesn’t like the outside.”

Throughout his time in the building, the cat has made a great deal of friends as well as those who may not be as fond to touch him.

“I have some coaches who are allergic to cats,” said Lowry. “Who do you think he tries to go and rub up against first? A lot of times he will also go up to where the assistant basketball coaches work and hang out there on their sofa.”

Jinx spends a lot of his time in the office with Lowry as well, greeting those who come in.

“He likes to sprawl out on the desk and when people come in the office he stands up and wants them to pet him.”

Though he is friendly around people, Jinx does not usually stick around during basketball games. Lowry says he is not fond of loud noises and usually finds a place to hide when the games pick up.

Jinx is another tradition at the school and at Stewart Field House that continues to live on. Lowry says that she finds it unique that the cat makes the building his home.

“I get excited when I think of how we take the tradition at Southwestern seriously.”

Clinton Dick is a sophomore majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at clinton.dick@sckans.edu.