Baker's Graduation Cake Mix-Up Ends in Purr-fect Mistake

Courtesy Laura Gambrel

When Laura Gambrel, 22, of Zionsville, Ind., graduated from Indiana University in May, she wanted to keep the celebration pretty low key. She didn't walk at the ceremony, nor did she have a party because she planned to go right back to the university this coming fall for grad school.

It seemed only fitting then that the one thing her mother attempted to do to recognize her accomplishments would go hilariously wrong, ending in Gambrel's 15 minutes of fame.

The family now calls it the "cat cake."

Laura Gambrel's mom, Carol Gambrel, went to the local bakery to get her daughter a graduation cake with a picture of her face, a scroll and the school's colors - red and white. She thought it would be a nice touch to add a graduation cap on top of Gambrel's head.

However, the family now believes, the baker must have misheard the mother's instructions and accidentally wrote down, "try to draw a cat on the head," instead of cap.

"I can only image them doing it and thinking I was going to vet school or something," Laura Gambrel told

The results turned into Reddit gold, with more than 29,000 up votes.

"I just graduated college, it was my sister's birthday and it was Father's Day," Laura Gambrel said. "My grandparents were visiting from out of town, and we thought we'd knock out three holidays at once. So my mom thought it would be funny to get a face cake. She got it and she asked them to draw a little cap on. But when she went to pick it up later, she saw that there was a cat on it, and started laughing hysterically and said, 'No, that's not what I meant at all.'"

The family thought the misplaced feline was too funny to remove and left the cat on top of Gambrel's head.

"When I went to pick it up at the store, I could not stop laughing," said Carol Gambrel, 59. "I told them not to scrape it off. It was one of those young kids behind the counter and he seemed a little distracted with someone else ordering a cake a foot away from us. We went through the school colors and everything, and I said, 'Oh, could you draw a cap on her head?' And he gives me this look."

She didn't think too much about it at the time, but when she returned to pick up the cake the entire bake shop was laughing.

"We were all just cracking up," Carol Gambrel said. "Who would have thought she'd get her 15 minutes with a cat cake?"

Fortunately, the family will have one more chance to get the cake right after Laura Gambrel completes her Masters of Public Affairs degree in sustainable development.