Critters on campus: Four stray cats roam McNicholas

Because of its strong sense of community, many students consider McNicholas a second home. Now, a few critters consider this campus their home as well.

Four cats, two males and two females, have been living outside the cafeteria and multiple students and faculty members have taken time out of their days to care for them.

Director of Finance Jean Gelvin noticed the cats at the end of last school year. “They were born in May 2012 along the side of the convent, but I didn’t see them start walking around campus until September,” Gelvin said.

As a former cat owner, Gelvin felt sorry for the cats since they did not have a home. She feeds them twice a day, when she arrives at school in the morning and when she leaves in the afternoon. She also comes back to campus each weekend to feed them again.

Junior Ashley Dundon sees the cats outside Ms. Semancik’s window during sixth bell a few times a week. “They always show up after lunch,” Dundon said. “My friends named two of them Patches and Socks.” Dundon also mentioned that a couple of her classmates tried to feed the cats vanilla Oreos.

Cafeteria Manager Ms. Debra Faulkner has also taken an interest in the cats. She sees them linger around the cafeteria some days. “I call one of them Stewie, and he responds to his name,” Faulkner said. “Every once in a while I’ll give them leftovers on Fridays.”

According to Gelvin, former cafeteria worker Karen Stevens caught all four cats and took them to the veterinarian to be spade and neutered. After the cats had their procedures, Stevens dropped them back off on the McNicholas campus.

Gelvin has observed different personality traits in the cats. “The two males aren’t very smart. They stand in the middle of the road to wait for food when they see me,” she said. “The females are much smarter and more standoff-ish.”

In the beginning of the school year, the cats lingered around the Presbyterian Church parking lot. Junior Claire Kennedy, who parked in the church’s lot while Paradise was under construction, said, “The cats were really friendly, and they would let people come right up and pet them. Some people even talked about taking them home and keeping them as pets.”

Unfortunately, the cats cannot be adopted since they are outdoor cats. “The veterinarian told me that they would not make good house cats,” Gelvin said.

Gelvin presumes that the cats will not be leaving anytime soon. “It’s a shame they don’t have a home. They’re probably going to stay at McNick always because that’s where they were born,” she said.

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