Students may come and go, but Auburn’s population of feral cats will be here forever.
Any Auburn student with access to social media right now has probably seen either one of two things: something about the recent election or something about a cat. Love them or hate them, they’re taking over the world.
The Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine used to implement a program properly titled Cat Nap. They would come in and trap, neuter and release (TNR) the feral cats that roamed and still roam on Auburn’s campus.
Unfortunately this program ended in 2008, leading to what seems to be an increase of cats in Auburn.
TNR was a much better approach to keeping the feral cat population down without resulting to euthanasia.
Feral cats are highly territorial, so if they’re removed from their area then a cat that isn’t in the program will come in and take over. The cats that were a part of Cat Nap ears are tipped for identification.
Students are now encouraged to check for this ear tipping before they call Animal Control.
The list of iconic Auburn feral cats is lengthy. It is safe to say that every building on Auburn’s campus has its own guard-cat.
Keller Cat, the one-eyed local celebrity, sits on the front porch of Helen Keller Hall at all hours of the day and night posing for Instagram pictures like it's her job.
“The Keller cat provides a cat away from home for cat lovers separated from their pets in Auburn,” said Libby Horton, previous resident of Helen Keller Hall.
Keller Cat is beloved not only by dwellers of Keller Hall, but of all students in Auburn. There’s even a Twitter account dedicated to everyone’s favorite feline friend properly named “The Helen Keller Cat.”
And then there’s the less popular and even more antisocial cat that lives outside of Tichenor Hall.
“It followed me all the way from Tichenor to Thach,” said Anna-Claire Gibson, Auburn junior. “I told it to wait for me to get out of class and then we'd go home.”
Don’t worry, the Tichenor cat is still sneaking around and creeping on passersby.