Cats with fraudulent diplomas

Skeptics who believe that a university is actually a diploma mill often prove their point by enrolling their cats in the university's program and seeing whether the cat can get a degree. Some enterprising Wikipedians have assembled a list of several such cats.
Colby Nolan is a housecat who was awarded an MBA degree in 2004 by Trinity Southern University, a Dallas, Texas-based diploma mill, sparking a fraud lawsuit by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office.[1]...

Ben Goldacre, a UK-based science journalist, obtained a diploma in nutrition from the American Association of Nutritional Consultants for his dead cat, Henrietta, while investigating allegations about fake qualifications.[5]

List of cats with fraudulent diplomas (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Image: Count the cats!, a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike photo from Eva 101's Flickr stream)

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  1. Those cats give bad reputation to other cats that spend almost half of their life trying hard to get a Astrophysics or Engineering degree.

    “Bad cat! No tuna for you tonight!”

  2. “Ben Goldacre, a UK-based science journalist, obtained a diploma in nutrition from the American Association of Nutritional Consultants for his dead cat, Henrietta, while investigating allegations about fake qualifications.”

    If only Henrietta was this knowledgeable about nutrition when she was still alive. Her tragic death might have been averted.

  3. Passing coursework and taking exams for your cat doesn’t make universities diploma mills. It makes some of them guilty of being taken advantage of cheats.

    This is a very different situation.

    Obviously your cat can’t actually do anything with an MBA, but can I earn a diploma for someone else, such as another human? Absolutely. This has not gotten any easier over the decades. Will many such cheaters be found out eventually?

    History suggests “yes.” I can think of three high-profile cases in Canada alone where someone was eventually found to have false credentials when promoted to an actually important level of academia.

    1. Passing coursework and taking exams for your cat doesn’t make universities diploma mills. It makes some of them guilty of being taken advantage of cheats.

      “Diploma Mill” doesn’t literally mean “institution that will give you a diploma as soon as you write them a check,” it means “institution with such laughably low standards that a diploma from them is essentially meaningless.”

  4. Initially, I was worried that you meant the PA fraud lawsuit was against the cat’s owner! (And not against Trinity Southern Univ.)

  5. I once sent in a registration card in my cat’s name, giving accurate information about her age and hobbies (climbing trees and so on). The result was many years of age-appropriate junk mail. Mostly amusing, though I was actively annoyed by “you have been nominated by your neighbors as a candidate for Miss Teen YourStatesNameHere”, which was an attempt to scam young ladies into raising money for a large entry fee.

    At around age 16 she started getting mail from community colleges. A few years later, she started getting mail from trade schools. Interesting sequencing; I guess the trade schools were operating on the principle of “if she hasn’t gone to college by now she’s a prime candidate for us.”

    At age 20 (after I had lost her, alas), she started getting telemarketing calls. I made more than one caller’s day by explaining that they were trying to sell life insurance to a dead cat.

    Given that history, I’m not at all surprised that diploma mills are equally willing to accept as human anyone or anything that will send them money.

  6. Nice story and hopefully the wikipedia article will not be deleted.

    However, I’d be much more interested in cats with legitimate degrees than those with fraudulent ones

    1. We do not need to ‘learn from books’, as you call them.
      Our superior intellects include telekinesis, and capacity for universal knowledge.
      Soon, your violent primate species will understand
      who really runs things. Soon. Heh heh heh…..!

      signed,

      Snookums

  7. We used to list our phone number under our cat’s name, Sydney Katz. It was a good way to avoid the unlisted number fee and all our friends knew the name.

  8. I hate it when I hire a cat that can’t perform satisfactory
    work and find out later that it used false credentials to
    obtain employment.

  9. I’m just waiting for this to lead to some kind of legal loophole by which I can frame my cat for my rampant criminal acts.

    1. (from Snarki, child of Loki, sans account)

      Well, that’s easy enough: just have your cat get a law degree, and then you can always say “I did it on the advice of my attorney”.

      1. Well, that’s easy enough: just have your cat get a law degree, and then you can always say “I did it on the advice of my attorney”.

        Thanks, Snarki, child of Loki. I’d hate to see my cat disbarred (neutering for lawyers?), but every man (or cat) for himself.

    1. Kind of cat in photo: I’d guess Maine Coon, from the combination of tiger-tabby markings, longish fur, and apparent size.

  10. The hardcore Maine Coon will be huge, have huge paws, and tufts at the tops of the ears. Aside from that, it is very similar to any long-haired tabby.

    I’ve always wanted one, but the alley cats at the shelter get me every time.

  11. There are diploma mills that will give you credit for “life experience”. I’ve known one person who literaly sent them a check and they sent him a degree.

    It was a BA and he used it to get his MBA (at a real school). So I guess in that case it all worked out.

  12. This is Cat Mandu (aka Suenos). He is Norwegian Forest Cat (mix). Glad he is famous thanks to flickr. Alas, he has never earned a degree.

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