Walk into Katie Wolf’s and Sasha DiGiulian’s Wallach double, and you might ask why exactly their room is even being “hopped.” It’s pretty college typical: brightly colored sheets, desk lamps, some artwork, and (only a little) mess. Upon closer inspection, though, it’s clear the two aren’t the room’s only inhabitants.
Along with Sasha and Katie, both CC first-years, Phelps, a rotund yet lively goldfish and Bobcat, a taxidermied North American bobcat, also share the room. The two were randomly assigned as roommates and met this fall here at Columbia. Although they got along well, both knew something was missing in their abode.
Then Sasha decided to pick up Phelps at a Petco on Broadway in September. “I wanted to ‘liven’ up the room (so to speak). I went to Petco on a mission to buy a fish.” When he reached his new home, Sasha realized his champion swimming abilities, christening him Phelps after the Olympic icon Michael Phelps.
Unlike Phelps, Bobcat hails from a much more exotic locale. Katie, who is from Dallas, Texas, received a refrigerator-sized care package from her family a few weeks ago. Amidst clothes and other more typical items, was the furry creature. “I don’t know why they didn’t send me any food [instead],” Katie said. Both girls agree that un-boxing Bobcat was probably the strangest experience they’ve had in the dorm. When he arrived, the whole floor freaked out, they explained.
Not one to discriminate based on species, Sasha eventually made peace with her new feline roommate. Still, his slightly deformed face and glowing eyes make him a bit of a eerie pal. “I put my hat over [his] eyes because they are creepy… And face my bed… Staring,” Sasha elaborated.
Katie, too, eventually took to her new roommate Phelps. “He’s quiet, so I’m not too bothered by him, and he’s a very good swimmer,” she said. Nevertheless, for such a little guy, he sure is high-maintenance. “Phelps requires bottled water in his bowl,” Sasha explained. “I don’t even go out and buy bottled water for myself, but Phelps needs Fiji. I have to clean [his bowl] every other day.”
Creepy stares, surprised visitors, and diva fish aside, the inhabitants of room 5-3 couldn’t be happier, although there’s been no word on whether or not Bobcat or Phelps have sexiled their roomies yet.