UTA Campus Cat Coalition works to shelter campus cats as winter weather conditions persist

Campus cat Microwave was rescued after crawling into the tunnel system near Preston Hall on Valentine's Day.

Well-known campus cat Microwave crawled into the tunnel system of Preston Hall on Valentine’s Day.

Laura White, nursing freshman and Campus Cat Coalition member, went searching for Microwave only to have a group of people tell her that he was under the building.

The bystanders told White that the cat wasn’t coming out, but she refused to leave him there. That cat was coming out, White said. She thought it was too cold to let Microwave stay outside overnight.

In the end, White crawled under the building and lured him out with food. Microwave was very upset, but at least he’s not dead, she said. As of now, Microwave is safe indoors with a coalition member.

The Campus Cat Coalition is a student organization that cares for UTA’s campus cats by providing them with food, water, shelter and medical care. They also promote spaying and neutering animals.

With a winter storm currently sweeping across Texas, the group has made a channel in their discord named “operation-keep-cats-warm” as a way to keep one another updated on the status of known cats on campus.

The organization has been moving plastic bin shelters to make them more accessible for the cats, and they’ve also been making sure to put food closer to the cats’ locations because the feeding stations may be too far for them to safely reach in the cold.

French junior Maria Luisa Cardenas Viñas was looking for a pet when she first came across the coalition.

She eventually came to the conclusion that dogs were too loud and she didn’t have the resources to care for a cat, so instead she started helping out the group.

As the coalition continues to provide for the cats, the cats become less guarded, Cardenas Viñas said. The work the group does is important because once the cats open up, the organization can look at options to get them adopted.

Eryn Von Husen, biology junior and coalition president, believes it’s the community’s responsibility to care for these animals.

She grew up knowing she wanted to help animals, Von Husen said, and it was important for her to find like-minded individuals who cared about animals as much as she did and were willing to go to the same lengths to help them.

Cats are special little creatures, each with their own personalities and mannerisms, she said.

Right now, members of the organization are looking for the other cats now that Microwave is safe. They’re currently looking for the paw prints of campus cat Riley.

The organization has five to seven shelters on campus, Von Husen said. But they are in the process of having wooden shelters made and paid for by fundraisers.

The organization is always in need of cash donations, cat food and litter, she said. Students can learn more about the Campus Cat Coalition on their Instagram.

@aivylinaa

features-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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