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Gautreau's Cats Aid in Teaching Calculus via Zoom Classes

Barbara Gautreau and her math students have been getting through distance learning with the help of her feline friends Maisie and Oscar’s guest appearances.

Maisie, who is three, jumps onto the kitchen table and sits on Gautreau’s laptop. Oscar, only five months old, joins Zooms when he’s picked up after playing with Gautreau’s legs and shoelaces.

As a playful kitten, Oscar loves to play with everything from cell phone chargers to little balls. Similarly, Maisie enjoys playing with chargers, bottle caps, and laser lights.

The cats each have their own quirks. For example, Oscar likes to dig his nose into Gautreau’s neck and hair while she’s laying down. Maisie, on the other hand, likes to spend her time up on high places. Her favorite spots are on top of the fridge and her perch.

While accompanying her mom to pay her dog license fees at a pet shelter, Gautreau decided to look at the cats. She saw Maisie and immediately fell in love after seeing her eyes. Gautreau had been planning on getting another cat to keep Maisie company while she travels. As a result, Gautreau and her daughter looked into getting a kitten from a relative. They ended up deciding to bring Oscar home after getting the chance to meet him, despite originally planning on buying one of his sisters instead.

Quarantine hasn’t had too big of an impact on her cats since they stay indoors at all times, but they do get to spend more time with their loving owner. For Gautreau, teaching is definitely different with the cats interrupting class, but they’re able to brighten the days of students.


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