An orange-and-white cat stares out from under the storm drain along the concourse to Thach passing Tichenor Hall. This is the drain cat of Auburn.
Maria Witte, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, helps care for the cat and shared that his name is Cater, since he originally lived by Cater Hall before they started doing renovations.
He is 18 years old and has a distinct personality.
“Cater is really his own person,” Witte said.
Even though Witte has been feeding him for years, he still will not let her touch him; Cater likes his personal space. He also has his priorities set on food, and he will have a few words to say if he finds it low. He also doesn’t want wet food. He only accepts dry food from her.
Witte has fed cats around campus for about 14 years. She helps feed them, gives them water and checks up on them. She also helps inform facilities about cats that need to be neutered and spayed, which Cater has been.
And Cater isn’t alone. Callie used to live by Tichenor but passed away at 19 years old. There was also Keller, who lived by Helen Keller Hall and lost his eye while trying to fight a squirrel but passed away in 2014. More recently, there have been sightings of a family of cats in one of the ditches by the Wellness Kitchen.
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Witte’s overall goal is to find a home for the cats. However, some are easier to find homes for than others, so in the meantime, she makes sure they are being cared for.
Taking care of Cater and his friends is her way of helping the community, and she encourages others to be mindful before getting a pet, making sure to understand the work and time that goes into it, and considering whether that can be managed with their schedule. She also encourages others to volunteer at the Humane Society if they want to help the animal community.
But as for Cater, Witte takes care of him, and pets from the Auburn Family keep him well-loved.
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