DomestiCATed: Faculty volunteer to care for cats on campus

Danielle Throneberry

Roadrunner Cat Coalition (RRCC) is a volunteer-based faculty/ staff organization making strides towards the care for and maintenance of UTSA’s renowned feral cat colony.

The RRCC was formally founded in 2006, without any university funding, after a group of cat-loving faculty members noticed the feral cat population at UTSA was substantial. Their mission is simple: care for and humanely manage the feral cat population on campus through responsible practices such as spaying or neutering.

The cats are fed, vaccinated and receive routine veterinary care. However, the particularly friendly cats are fostered by a member of the organization and then placed for adoption.

According to faculty member Karen Williams, “There are about 20 permanent resident cats on campus,” which is a significant decline from when the organization began due to RRCC’s humane population management initiative.

She went on to state the cats are “ear-clipped” in order to identify the cats as either neutered or spayed and are a part of the UTSA cat community.

Williams said the politically correct term for feral cats is now “community cats.” She affirmed these campus community cats are free-roaming, permanent outdoor residents that don’t cause trouble.

Chap cat enjoys breakfast with a friend.
Chap cat enjoys breakfast with a friend.

 

The most celebrated of the cats is Harry, also known as “Chap Cat,” the large orange tabby usually found roaming the premises of Chaparral Village. He is a hit at the dorms and even has his own Instagram account @chap_cat.

Williams wants the UTSA community to be aware of the cats, but instructs students not to approach them for general safety measures. According to Williams, the best way to get involved with helping animals is to join the student organization PAWS.

For more information about the organization, visit the website: utsacats.com or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/UTSACats.