Suki had joined every single one of her mom’s online classes for the past two years, so Bourdier wanted to do something to honor their joint achievement. Before the ceremony, she made a tiny, Suki-sized cap and gown to perfectly match her own.
“It was just me and her,” Bourdier told The Dodo, “so when graduation came, I knew I had to celebrate her, too.”
Due to the pandemic, most of Bourdier’s classes took place online — but she was hardly ever alone. As soon as Suki heard her mom’s class start on Zoom, she’d join her in front of the computer.
“She would just come onto my desk and lay next to it as if she was listening,” Bourdier said. “And if I was taking notes on my iPad, she would just sit on top of it.”
Bourdier adopted Suki in September of 2020 from a local shelter after seeing her picture online. “I drove to three different locations trying to find her,” Bourdier said. When she finally arrived at the right shelter, there was a long line of people trying to adopt Suki.
Bourdier’s persistence paid off and, by the end of the day, she was the one to walk away with the adorable cat. “When I finally got her, I just thought, ‘Wow … I get to be her mom,’” she said.
Since joining the family, Suki has always loved learning new things — mastering tricks such as high-fiving, spinning and giving her paw on cue. It seemed only natural when the studious cat started attending every single one of Bourdier’s Zoom lectures.
Having Suki by her side during class provided Bourdier with the emotional support she needed to complete her degree online. And, when one of her professors asked the class to show their pets, Bourdier learned that she wasn’t alone. “It was cool to see that almost every student had their pet next to them,” Bourdier said.
While graduating with Suki made Bourdier’s college experience that much more rewarding, it’s just one of many achievements Bourdier hopes the two will accomplish together. As Bourdier said, “[Suki] is just that special.”