Shelter Cat Solves Calculus Problem While Laying On Volunteer’s Homework

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on March 31, 2022

Cats are brilliant little beasts, so it’s no surprise a shelter cat recently amazed one volunteer by solving an advanced math problem that had left her stumped.

Stuck on an integral problem, shelter volunteer Kat Garfield put down her pencil and headed for the pantry to fix kitty dinners, hoping to clear her mind. As she was next door preparing dishes of wet food, Kat heard the pages of her book flipping and the crinkling of paper in the notebook she’d left beside it. Thinking another volunteer had gone into the cat room, she thought nothing of it and continued with dinner prep. But when Kat went back to the cat room, there were no humans, just cats. And one of them was draped across the homework she’d left there. Beside cat Will’s paw sat a red pen and in Kat’s notebook was the solved problem, with all the steps shown in purrfect detail.

Calculus Cat

Kat Garfield volunteers at Cat Rescue in the city of Sylvester regularly. And when she’s not playing with shelter kitties, she’s a student at CATech. This semester Kat is taking Calculus I as part of her prerequisites on the path to veterinary medicine. And she loves the class as math is one of her favorite subjects. Kat also likes to work on her homework with the shelter cats running around her.

“The cats make me think better,” Kat explained to iHeartCats.

The cat lovers of iHC understand that well!

And one homework session with the kitties led Kat to think even harder when she got stumped on an integration problem. She had reworked the same problem nine times, getting stuck at the same place every time as something in the problem just wasn’t computing in her head.

Kat couldn’t find the correct answer.

Kat shared, “I had just decided to wait and ask my professor about it because I was so stuck, but Will showed me the answer.”

Will showed Kat she forgot the +C.

It turns out, Kat forgot to add the constant of integration while trying to find the antiderivative, but Will showed her what she was missing by adding the C.

“I couldn’t believe a cat solved a calculus problem!”

But if ever there was a cat that could solve calculus, it would be Will. He’s a good cat who craves hunting toy mousies and giving head bumps to anyone he meets. Dogs included!

Can You Believe This Cat?

This amazing math moment isn’t Will’s first foray into performing the impossible. This wily feline once organized a breakout from the cat room and led all his feline friends to the pantry for a glorious buffet. To accomplish this feat, Will had to figure out the locked cat room door and the locked food pantry. Even with the security cameras capturing it, staff and volunteers are still stumped by the escape. And now, Will has done it again by solving Kat’s homework!

Will has declined to comment about whether his math skills involved years of study or if it’s something all cats just know.

Here’s what Will did have to say about his math miracle, “Gotcha!”