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Catching up with Dalhousie’s newest celebrity

Move over Dal Tiger, there’s a new celebrity cat on the block. 

Whether you’ve seen her in the flesh or only heard of her legacy, this sociable tortoise-shell cat is bound to steal your heart.

The name of Dalhousie’s newest celebrity is Sharty. 

An Instagram account — @shartyontheblock — was created for Sharty sightings when French started receiving photos and videos on her personal account being asked, “Is this your cat?” by friends seeing her around campus. Sharty is quickly reaching Halifax influencer status with almost 1,500 followers — she’s been on the platform for fewer than five months.

Sharty is three years old, about nine pounds and full of personality. 

Addy French, an engineering student at Dalhousie University and owner of the famous feline, said it’s hilarious having a famous cat. “I love seeing what she is doing and how she interacts with everyone.”

She doesn’t do any tricks, but French said Sharty enjoys a good game of tag. 

French said after feeding her in the morning, Sharty bravely crosses Coburg Road every day to reach campus and get her education, just like many of us. 

French admits that this big challenge for such a small girl worries her sometimes, but knowing that there are students walking up and down that road every day gives her some peace of mind. 

“She’s never really alone.”

Sharty can be found frequenting the Killam Library, sneaking past people as they enter to study for yet another exam, and attending physics lectures in the Sir James Dunn Building to, supposedly, learn about gravity and motion. 

Physics instructor Simon de Vet commented on an Instagram post of Sharty attending his lecture saying, “This was the greatest lecture I’ve ever given. She waited politely at the door for me to let her out.”

In an emailed statement provided to the Dalhousie Gazette, de Vet said that Sharty has visited his classes twice. He added that he “was delighted to see her. I think the students also enjoyed the little diversion! She’s a little angel.”

Various shots of the locally-famous feline, taken by owner Addy French.

Sharty’s trouble with administration

In the fall, French said the University of King’s College administration complained to her about Sharty being in areas where food was being prepared at the university and had asked her to keep her out due to health and safety reasons. 

Though, this doesn’t mean that you won’t see her on the King’s campus. 

Sharty is often climbing trees around the King’s Arts & Administration Building and sometimes she is brought in, supervised and then let back out.

French said this put her in a tough situation where the students really wanted Sharty inside roaming around, but the administration really wanted her outside.

The origins of Sharty

But the question on everyone’s minds when first encountering this celebrity and reading her collar is, “how did this cat with the cutest orange and black face, and the friendliest green eyes, get the name Sharty?” 

French said she got Sharty off Kijiji from someone who was rehoming her, and she didn’t know what she would name her new roommate. 

Around this time, Australian rapper The Kid Laroi released the song “Addison Rae.” Some of the lyrics go, “Addison Rae, lil’ shawty the baddest.” 

The song became a meme because some believe The Kid Laroi said “Lil’ Sharty” in the song. With French going by Addy (similar to Addison), she started calling her new pet Sharty to go with the joke. The name stuck.

French said she didn’t know how popular Sharty would become at both Dalhousie and King’s when first starting the account. Now, she receives about five to 10 messages a day with pictures and videos of Sharty sightings. 

“I think it’s so funny when people are like, ‘Here’s Sharty in my lecture learning or getting educated this morning,’” said French. “It’s hilarious.”

Sharty is becoming a household name in the Dalhousie and King’s community, and (mostly) everyone is here for it.

Make sure you send your Sharty sightings to the @shartyontheblock Instagram account so everyone can stay up to date with this new celebrity’s lifestyle.

Cover photo: Valerie O’Neill

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