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This Classroom Cat Received An Outpouring Of Sadness After It Died

They wrote her poems, they built her a little grave — this is the life story of a cat well-lived.

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Oreo the Cat, who became a national icon after Chinese state media CCTV's coverage of her relationship with the students of Kunming No. 1 Middle School last May, passed away last week at the age of about 8.

Many students expressed regret that they didn't do enough to save her before she became so sick that she couldn't be warmed up again with a school uniform.

Oreo is buried under a big pine tree on campus, which students decorated with stones, bouquets, a drawing of her, and her favorite snacks.

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Oreo was a favorite of students and teachers at the middle school in China's southwest Yunan province, although there are a few other stray cats on campus. Look at this happy picture of them posted by the school on Weibo.

BuzzFeed News gathered Oreo's life story from the school's online forum, where over a dozen students have posted in commemoration of the much-beloved cat.

A short overview:

Name: "Oreo," for obvious reasons.

Breed: Mixed 🐱

Age: 7-8

Sex: Female 🚺

Favorite subject: Geography was her favorite 🌎, although she attended all kinds of classes.

Activities: Sitting in classes, overseeing exams, resting in the desk drawers – that was how she got the more widely-known nickname "The Curve Wrecker Cat." ✍🏻

Parents: Another stray cat that lived on the campus.

Kids: Many

Until 2011, Oreo was just another nameless dirty stray cat living on a Chinese campus, surviving on leftovers of students.

Weibo

That year, a new teacher named Ms. Luo joined the faculty of the middle school. She spotted the ugly dirty poor thing, who was hairless around the neck due to lack of nutrition. Ms. Luo took her to get food and medical treatment, and washed her with the help of her son.

Gradually, Oreo changed. Her hair became soft and bright, and she won the love of the students.

Weibo

They started to spoil her with her favorite brands of cat food. She knew exactly where on the campus to look for the food prepared for her and where her beds were.

Oreo started to give birth to litters of kittens. Most of the kitties of hers found a good home: some of them were adopted by a kind-hearted granny living next to the campus, some were brought with students who went off to university. Ms. Luo kept one, too. Once Oreo found a kitty that was previously lost, and delivered it back to Ms. Luo, the safest place she could think of.

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Along the posts mourning her absence, some students' posts investigated what actually happened to cause her death.

A student named "Pikachusharian" posted screen shots of her phone of the memos she kept, including: the motivation of the research, the account from the doctor who treated Oreo, the statement from school faculty, and conversation with witnesses.

The students concluded that Oreo didn't get appropriate treatment after she got a severe diarrhea. When she was found really sick, the school assigned a gardener to take her to the hospital. She received a shot, and was required to be kept warm.

"Oreo/ don't go too far/ Every corner in the school/ I can feel your breath/ As if I look back/ I can still see you bathing in the sun beam," a student wrote in a poem dedicated to the memory of the cat.

Weibo

On the stairs,
There are still cat food, that you didn't finish,
Beside the cabinet,
Is the capsule, of the milk bottle for you,
On my chemistry notebook,
You paw prints, are my best illustration.

"Hey Oreo, if many many years later/ I run into you under the pine tree to the left of the square again/ let's go, I'll buy you some meat."

Kunming No.1 High School

But this time, you will be allowed to eat it all.
And I just look at you, nothing else.
The road to the heaven is long, you take your time.
Remember to visit No.1 School often.

Beimeng Fu is a BuzzFeed News World Reporter covering China and is based in New York.

Contact Beimeng Fu at beimeng.fu@buzzfeed.com.

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