The Cats at Santiago

Lauren Bulanek, Staff Writer

There are animals roaming the Santiago High School campus beyond the seagulls that take flight during passing periods like clockwork and the Shark Scholars that go from class to class like sheep following their flock.

Since last spring, two cats, Grumples and Katsuki, have made a home under the JROTC building by the gym. Grumples can be described as a big boned, calico tabby who is easily befriended with food. It is believed that Katsuki is a Chinese Li Hua, whom is very sweet and craves constant affection. There used to be four cats, however, the prevailing theory is that they went off to college.

They are primarily cared for by Catherine Luu, a senior at Santiago and an officer for the Gender-Sexuality Alliance. Catherine has taken time out of her day to care for these cats; she provides them with food and water and has helped them learn to trust people.

Catherine told me, “The cats used to be really shy in the beginning of the year when I started feeding them. Grumples would come out only for the food, and I’d often get scolded by security. Now all the security guards know about it. Though some are still concerned about my safety being around all the electrical equipment, I am no ordinary fool.”

Since the start of the school year, Catherine has taken time out of her mornings and afternoons to care for the cats. It takes time to feed the cats due to Grumples spacious appetite and unwillingness to share. Though they have two bowls, Grumples tends to gradually push Katsuki out of the way, according to Catherine. In order to keep Grumples from eating all of the cat food, Catherine has to monitor them to make sure they’re sharing. Grumples is fed enough food by the veterinary standard, but not enough food by his standards. Even after eating all the food, he tends to beg. He’ll meow loudly to get your attention and strut around, making his presence known. Katsuki, however, eats much smaller portions. When she is done eating, she’ll go back to trying to get someone’s attention by meowing softly and purring as she leans against the fence.

No one really knows where the cats came from. Due to their appearance and behavior, it is not likely that they are wild cats. It seems someone abandoned them on campus and they made a home under the JROTC building.

When I asked Catherine about the origins of the cats, she told me, “It’s theorized that Katsuki and Grumples came to Santiago in search of higher education and a healthy lifestyle, hence why they reside across from the weight room.”

Regardless of where they came from, it is clear the cats need a home. They are very affectionate and tame, and would make a great addition to a loving home.

Catherine told me, “Many of the Santiago staff on campus know about the cats and there isn’t really anything set in stone to get them out or taken care of when I’m gone or when summer comes along. Hopefully, whoever hears about them and knows they can take care of them can come along and try to get them out.”