California’s Cats

Students enjoying the stray felines around campus


Stephen Yaniga

Johnson the Cat

Stephen Yaniga, Staff Writer

Rain falls as a gray cat with bright green eyes curls up underneath a leafy green bush between the PennWest California dorms. Not far is the place the cat calls home, a little cat house and a blanket hanging from a table, a makeshift shelter made by students and faculty placed in the common area of the yard near Johnson Hall.

Johnson the cat’s home (Stephen Yaniga)

This is a quite normal occurrence to see if you are a student on the PennWest California campus.

Bethany Woolley, a PennWest student majoring in vet technology, said the cat’s name is Johnson because she lives next to Johnson hall. Woolly enjoys the stray cats throughout California; she knows the hot spots where all the stray cats go whether it’s in bushes, under cars, or behind dumpsters.

“I and my friends buy cat food and feed the cats behind the dumpsters all the time,” Woolly said.

Woolly’s not the only student that sees stray cats around campus frequently; many others share the same experience.

Talon Balog, a senior at Pennwest, said they see cats probably 2-3 times a week and assume they’re stray because they have no collar.

Some students have concerns about the safety of the stray cats and whether they are being fed and sheltered.

“What do they eat? I always see them run across the road when I’m driving and think they could get hit,” said Sophomore Johnna Meiderer.

Though there are many concerns for the cats, the majority of students seem not to be bothered and enjoy the roaming felines. Some students stop by and give some of the cats a pet, while others carry on with their day looking at the cats as they walk by.

“I think people find comfort in a cat even if it is not their own,” Balog said.