by Brooke Blanton Leith
At any given time, the St. Mary’s University campus is home to at least 10 free-ranging felines.
Though pets aren’t allowed on campus unless they are service animals, Marty, Ringo, Possum and Oliver hang around Blume Library, while A.J., who has made a shelter of campus for more than a decade, frequents the Marianist Residence in her old age.
“A.J. moved over with the Brothers because it’s so much quieter,” said Caroline Byrd, Executive Director and Professor at Blume Library. “Oyster Bake was too loud for her.”
“I keep waiting for PD to leave, but he’s got it made here.”Chief of Police David Ott
Feisty, also known as Catticus, staked the area near the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library as his wandering grounds. When Feisty showed up, Elizabeth Cadena, Business Manager and the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Law Library, immediately sensed a fur-ever friend.
The love is apparently mutual: Feisty greets her in the parking lot each morning.
“I’m his top human because he knows with me comes food,” she said.
Chief of Police David Ott is the unofficial caregiver for PD, the cat who lives around the University Police Department. This member of claw-enforcement also answers to Stubby, on account of his stump of a tail.
“I keep waiting for him to leave, but he’s got it made here,” Ott quipped.
Since the Police Department is staffed 24/7, there is always someone to give PD pets or treats.
“He has put on some weight since he got here,” Ott said.
The presence of the St. Mary’s cats provides a reprieve from the stresses of school, said Cadena. Students spending late nights in the Law Library often take breaks to pet Feisty and relax.
“It’s my happy place,” Cadena said. “When you spend time with Feisty, everything’s right with the world.”
For more information about how to help the campus cats, contact Caroline Byrd at firstname.lastname@example.org.