By Kaitlyn Johnson / Special to The Herald
SNOHOMISH — At the Central Primary Center, a local celebrity is helping to soften the transition back into school. He is known by his admirers as Kevin the cat.
Early in the 2017-18 school year, Kevin developed a habit of hanging around the school entrance each day.
“He’s just a friendly greeter for all the kids coming to school in the morning,” Principal Heidi Rothgeb said.
It didn’t take long for word of Kevin’s appearances to spread, and soon the whole school knew of his presence. Students enjoyed petting him before they went in to class, and the teachers grew to accept him as well.
“They all know him as Kevin and love seeing him,” Rothgeb said.
Kevin even started recognizing how much he was adored at the school, and on particularly cold days staff members caught him sitting at the front doors, expecting to be let in.
The cat’s owner, Cheryl Hoitink, didn’t find out about Kevin’s visits until he went missing for a short period in the fall. She lives across the street from the school, and went to ask staff if they had seen him.
“They told me, ‘Of course, we see him almost every day!’” Hoitink said.
Hoitink wasn’t too surprised. “He’s very social and loves kids and people,” she said.
Students on campus in July for the summer Science & Arts Academy were thrilled when Kevin took the time to stop by.
“He missed the kids and wanted to show off how truly majestic he is,” teacher Hayley Edwards said in an email.
Staff returning in mid-August to ready for the upcoming school year were excited to see Kevin again.
“One of the first mornings we had teachers back, one of them went out to his motorcycle and found him sitting there,” Rothgeb said.
Kaitlyn Johnson is a ninth-grader at Cavelero Mid High School in Lake Stevens.