Furr-real facts about Newman’s campus cats

CAMPUS CATS ARE around the cafeteria during lunch and dinner hours, often receving scraps from students. Courtesy photo, Dana Beitey

They’re cute, have four paws, and love it when students feed them.  Over the past year there have been three or four new litters.  With the growing cat count, people have been looking for new ways to care for them.  Mo Floyd, campus security, has been taking care of them since he arrived back in January 2015.  

“I feed them because at the end of the spring semester, students would feed the cats when they came out of the caf.  The cats would wait outside after the kids left.  So I bought some dry food and the rest is history,” he said. “I’m a dog person but it’s not their fault someone wasn’t feeding them so I continued to buy food.” 

Currently there are five adults and three or four kittens. Floyd has been working to get the kittens adopted out. 

“The mama cats got smarter and started hiding their kittens so we couldn’t get ‘em,” Floyd said.  

“There are lots of people who come by and see them.  I think it’s a positive effect on our campus.  But there can be too much of a positive effect,” he said. Floyd, along with some administrators, has been investigating ways to get the cats spayed or neutered. 

There have also been some success stories.  Four of the kittens from last spring have been adopted out to students. 

One stormy day during spring some students were walking to class and they stumbled upon a kitten that was borderline drowning and separated from the other cats.  They brought the kitten to Floyd who gave her to Dana Beitey, who is the Content Marketing Coordinator. 

Beitey shared fond memories of receiving her.  

“Mo knows I like cats, he told me that they had found a scared, wet, cute kitten” said Beitey. “I was there as soon as possible to pick her up.  We named her Stormy. She’s about 7 months old now.  This happened mid-May.  She’s doing great, she claps on command, and she’s good with people.”   

As well as adopting cats out has been going, Jill Wheeler, who is the director of grants, has been looking into applying for a grant from Petco or Pet Smart. 

“They have spayed and neuter programs and we’re going to see if we can tap into one of those so that we can trap them and fix them.  I have to write a letter of request and if our story is compelling enough then hopefully we’ll get the money to do that,” said Wheeler.

This story first appeared in the November 30, 2017 issue of The Vantage.