Familiar stray cats on campus used to receiving free meals from staff found a surprise over the Christmas holidays -- a catcher to take them to the animal shelter.
Gary Monroe, director of the UT Environmental Health and Safety Office, hired Sprague Pest Control to trap the cats and take them to Town Lake Animal Shelter, where they were euthanized.
Monore said Charles Sprague, owner of the extermination company, set traps around L. Theo Bellmont Hall, Robert Lee Moore Hall, the Main Building and the Service Building. He caught 14 cats, which were taken to the city pound and exterminated because they were wild and could not be adopted, he said.
Monroe said he had received many complaints about the wild cats, adding that one major problem was people feeding the animals. "The food left would rot and the smell bothered everyone," Monroe said. Monroe added that the University plans to retain this practice from time to time when the cat population on campus increases.
Joe Ward, assistant vice president for business affairs, said he also received calls from people who had seen the cats on campus. "The cats were a health hazard. They smelled bad, scratched people and there was nothing else to do," Ward said.
Both Monroe and Ward said they tried to find other alternatives, but the risk of having employees hurt by the wild cats and suing the University was too great.
Rory Coker, Professor of physics, said he used to feed the cats at RLM. "I thought that if I fed the cats they would leave others alone and people wouldn't mind them being around," Coker said.
Monroe said that in December, he asked former dean of the College of Natural Science Robert Boyer to ask Coker to stop feeding the cats. But the problem continued, Monroe said, so they resorted to trapping. Coker said he was aware of the University's plan of trapping the cats. "I wouldn't do it that way, but I can't think of any other way either," Coker said.
Jan Shrode, administrative assistant in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, said UT officials should have contacted sympathetic employees in an effort to try to find an alternative to extermination. "I think the University used professor Coker as an excuse to get rid of the cats," she said. Shrode said she had trapped and neutered a couple of the campus cats in the past and had posted signs around the area explaining what was being done and asked people if they wanted to help.
"The response was good. Many people called saying they wanted to help with the costs of neutering." The cats were then re-released back at the same spot they were trapped and then fed daily.
"But when I heard that the University periodically exterminated cats, I decided to catch them again and get them off campus. I couldn't trap them a second time so I had to hire a mobile veterinarian to come out and tranquilize them first." She was then able to find homes for all three of them.
Beveral Williams, Department of Journalism graduate advisor, said the University should have tried other alternatives to trapping and exterminating. Williams, who is a member of the Austin/Travis County Animal Commission, said it was through this commission that she found out Sprague had been hired to get rid of the animals.
Williams said the University made a mistake when it contacted
only faculty members about the cat problem. "If staff members
had been told about the problem, they would have done something,"
Outrage over the extermination of 14 stray cats on the University of Texas campus is causing university officials to look for a more humane policy that could include adoptions or a spaying and neutering program.
"We are working to develop a better way of dealing with strays that does not affect animals that are being properly looked after," UT President Robert Berdahl said in an electronic message sent to the university community Friday.
Concern that the campus cats were a health hazard and potential legal liability caused Gary Monroe, director of UT's health and safety office, to hire Sprague Pest Control to trap the cats during the last week of December.
The cats were taken to the Town Lake Animal Shelter. "Every single one was euthanized," said Jorge Uribe, administrative supervisor at the shelter.
"We are just trying to keep the university a healthy and safe place," Monroe said, noting that a woman was bitten by one of the strays and underwent surgery to repair damage to her finger.
"They are not that big a threat to the university. I think some people were really hurt by this," said Michele Keeler, a university employee.
The extermination has prompted angry letters to The Daily Texan, the campus newspaper, and outraged chatter on computer bulletin boards as news of the roundup became known.
"I don't think it will happen again. You just don't do this," said Peg Berdahl, wife of the UT president.
Mrs. Berdahl predicted that UT would try an approach used by Stanford University in which cats are trapped, spayed or neutered, collared and returned to campus.
Some of the exterminated cats were spayed or neutered. Many were fed daily by campus employees or students.
Among the missing an presumed dead is Miss Priss, a long-haired
gray and white cat that had eaten breakfast at W. C. Hogg, a science
building, since she was spayed and returned to campus eight years
A recently formed group of people concerned about the December euthanasia of 14 feral cats captured on the UT campus is hosting its first meeting Wednesday.
The Campus Cat Coalition, which is not yet a registered UT staff organization, will meet at noon in the Texas Union to discuss better solutions for the control of stray cats on campus, said Jan Shrode, coalition organizer and administrative assistant in the Department of Aerospace Engineering.
"Instead of everybody being upset, we want to find a resolution and we want everyone's input," Shrode said.
Beverly Williams, also a coalition organizer and graduate coordinator in the Department of Journalism, said she received a letter from UT President Robert Berdahl stating that he hoped to come to a better solution for dealing with the cats.
Larry Lollar, vice president for development, said he will speak to the coalition about a plan that successfully controlled the population of cats on the Stanford University campus.
Fourteen cats captured last month by Sprague Pest Control were
sent to the Town Lake Animal Shelter and euthanized after they
were declared unadoptable.
Faculty, staff, and student concern over the euthanization of 14 campus cats has caused the University to reconsider its policy on handling similar problems in the future.
"We are working to develop a better way of dealing with strays that does not affect animals that are being properly looked after," said UT President Robert Berdahl, in an e-mail message to the University on Friday.
But Gary Monroe, director of the UT Office of Environmental Health and Safety, said something had to be done about the strays in order to protect the students and faculty against injury and to protect the University against lawsuits.
Monroe said he has received a fair amount of feedback from staff and faculty members who would have appreciated prior notice of the plans to capture the cats so they could solve the problem themselves. "We just wanted them to be taken to the shelter. We wanted them to have the chance to be adopted." The Town Lake Animal Shelter deemed all 14 cats captured on campus by Sprague Pest Control "unadoptable", said Kurt Lapham, manager of the shelter.
"It was a decision using our criteria for evaluating animals
that come in . . . . We evaluate on behavior and health,"
The efforts of a coalition of campus volunteers has ensured the survival and health of more than 21 campus felines.
Jan Shrode, administrative assistant in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Head Cat Person of the Campus Cat Coalition, said she helped start the organization in response to the University's "Great Cat Round-Up" of 1994, when 14 stray cats were trapped and exterminated.
Gary Monroe, director of the UT Environmental Health and Safety Office, said in December 1994 his office was receiving complaints from campus staff members bitten by feral cats. [actually it was only one person who was bitten by a feral kitten when she tried to grab it!]
"We wanted to take some positive action to resolve this problem so we hired a pest control company to catch the cats," Monore said.
The animals were then transported to the Town Lake Animal Shelter where they were considered too wild to be adopted and were euthanized.
Shrode, who had been caring for some cats before the roundup, said there were many people on campus willing to assume the responsibility of controlling the health and number of cats on campus, so the Coalition was formed.
"The Humane Society, along with a packet of information provided by a nationwide organization called Alley Cat Allies, helped us get started," Shrode said.
With permission from the University, Shrode traps the feral felines and transports them to cooperating veterinarians who test then for feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia, inoculates them against rabies and distemper, and spays or neuters them. Also, the very tip of their left ear is "cropped" for identification purposes. "I then release the cats back in the same place they were trapped," Shrode said. "About 10 other people in the Coalition take responsibility for feeding them."
Bonnie Connors, administrative associate of the University's Planned Giving, said she has been feeding a brother and sister pair of felines, dubbed "the Carothers Kids."
"Jan trapped and transported them for treatment about six months ago," Connors said. "They were too wild to be adopted, so they were released back on campus. They're doing just fine now."
Shrode said the organization "operates on donations and volunteer efforts only and receives no help from UT."
Donations are administered by the Austin Humane Society/SPCA through the Miss Priss Memorial Fund. "The fund is named after a cat that lived around the Main Building," Shrode said. "Miss Priss was one of the cats caught and exterminated. She had been trapped, spayed and returned to campus by a staff member eight years earlier."
"After bad publicity from the roundup, Shrode said, "President Berdahl sent us a letter stating that this kind of thing would never happen again," and appointed Vice President of Development Larry Lollar to serve as liaison between the administration and the Coalition. Mr. Lollar had recently moved from Stanford and was familiar with their feral cat management program, the Stanford Cat Network.
"We support the Coalition, on principle," Lollar said. "Though the University hasn't done anything other than support their activities. We are very pleased they have come up with this solution."
Monroe, who attended the first meeting of the coalition, said he has not been invited back since the time of the controversy surrounding his hiring of the pest control company. "I have heard nothing more about the organization and I don't know if they're doing anything," Monroe said. "I still see cats around campus, but there haven't been any more problems or complaints about them."
In the past year, 22 feral cats and kittens have been trapped by the Coalition. Adults were altered, inoculated and released and kittens were removed from campus, domesticated and adopted.
People who want to report sightings of stray cats on campus
or want to volunteer or make a donation should call Shrode directly
at 471-3006, e-mail her at Jan.Shrode@mail.utexas.edu or communicate
with her through the UT electronic bulletin board "USPETS."
Information regarding the Coalition can be found on their web
page at http://www.ae.utexas.edu/cats/.
For campus strays, he's the cat's meow who dishes out a whole lot of love.
When the "cat man" appears on their prowling ground, the 10 or so homeless campus cats he has spent the last three years caring for dart toward him. He drops to one knee and pets the felines. They arch their backs in delight. Then the cat man empties his bag full of cat chow, grasping one of the cans and dumping its contents on a white paper plate. The cats gobble their feast. "I'm doing this because the cats were incredibly skinny when I first saw them several years ago" he says. "Their heads looked monstrous. They were way out of proportion to their bodies".
The cat man, who is a UT staff member, carries out this feeding ritual every day after dark has fallen. This is when the cats come out.He explains that he is doing the University a favor by feeding the cats.
"These cats are neutered," he says. "They'll keep other cats from moving in on University territory and overreproducing. That keeps the population down."
Jan Shrode of the Campus Cat Coalition -- a group consisting of 15-20 volunteers who trap, neuter, and release feral campus cats -- says the cat man acts discretely because he is very protective of the cats. The cat man is devoted to his group of cats and they seem to delight in his company.
Shrode says the cat man's devotion makes him stand out among Coalition members.
"He's pretty unique," she says. "He's the one who is most consistent about feeding them. He takes care of more cats than anyone else in our group. He really cares about the cats." She says the cat man is also unique because he is reserved. "He is a very mild-mannered, soft-spoken guy," she says. "He speaks with his actions."
Chief among them is paying $30 a week, more than $1,500 a year, out of his own pocket for cat food.
He says he doesn't mind the time or expense. "I don't have any kids," he says. "They're like family to me."
This evening not all of the cats in the cat man's family have shown up for dinner, and he is growing a little worried. He explains that a newly erected metal barrier prevents him from reaching another area on campus where he usually leaves food.
"I can't get there now," he says. "I don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe they'll see me over here."
Meanwhile, a white shorthair kitten timidly approaches the feeding area. But it doesn't immediately head for the food. Instead it hides behind a bush and pokes its head out occasionally. The kitten is afraid to approach the food because another cat, is prowling nearby.
The cat man sees the kitten and fills a special plate with food, which he sets near the kitten. Soon it chows down to its heart's content. The other cat, distracted by her own plate of food, pays it no mind.
The kitten is shy but stands out because of its beauty, the cat man said.
The other cats are wild too, but they aren't skittish around the cat man.
"I've known them longer," he says. "They trust me."
In fact, several cats are feeding without fear at the cat man's feet. The cats are ready to scurry to safety should someone else approach.
Shrode says she can only guess how many strays there are on campus, maybe 100 -- maybe 200 -- it's hard to tell. Many of these feral cats are the offspring of unaltered pets abandoned by departing UT students.
Feeding on scraps
Campus cats normally scrape out a living by salvaging scraps from dumpsters or preying on occasional pigeons, Shrode says.
Shrode says the Coalition has trapped a total of 40 campus cats so far. Adult cats are neutered and released back at UT but kittens are domesticated and then turned over to the Humane Society, which finds homes for them, she says.
The Coalition formed in January 1995 in direct response to an extermination of 17 campus cats in December 1994.
The extermination took place after people complained that the leftover cat food staff members were leaving outside a certain building was rotting and leaving unpleasant odors.
UT officials also feared that the University would be liable if the cats bit or scratched passers-by.
They declared the cats a health hazard and hired a pest control company to trap and exterminate them during the 1994 Christmas holidays.
Periodic cat extermination was UT policy at the time, but this particular extermination sparked outrage from students and staff when they returned from the holidays.
In January 1995, one Daily Texan Firing Line writer called the exterminators "contract killers," while another said they were an integral part of the UT community.
Help from up high
The cats also have friends in high places. Cat lover Peg Berdahl, wife of UT President Robert Berdahl, found out about the exterminations by reading The Daily Texan.
"I'll never forget it. It really upset me," she says. "I expressed to [President Berdahl] that I was upset about it. He didn't like what had happened to the cats either and said it should be stopped."
President Berdahl wanted to support the staff, which favored ending the exterminations, Mrs. Berdahl says.
With the University's blessing, the Cat Coalition instituted its trap, neuter and return program, which is still in effect.
Gary Monroe, director of the UT Office of Environmental Health and Safety, says the Campus Cat Coalition is doing a competent job.
"I have not had a cat-related complaint in two years," he says.
Before the coalition assumed responsibility for the cats, Monroe's office received one to two complaints a week, he says.
Monroe says the cats are no longer being fed haphazardly like they used to be.
"They're on a feeding schedule and the plates are being picked up," he adds.
Despite his long-term commitment to care for his cats, the cat man insists that there is nothing special about him.
"I'm just a small cog in the machinery," he says.
But if the cats could talk, they might disagree.
They might say his big heart is no small cog because it takes a lot of warmth to brave icy January evenings and spend dinner time with their rag-tag lot.
They seem to know that he's the one they can count on to always dish out a whole lot of love.
Thank you for printing"A Cat's Tale" (January 21, 1997). The Campus Cat Coalition's efforts are not widely publicized on campus but since the story appeared in The Daily Texan many feline aficionados have called wanting to know more about the group and how to help.
In an effort to keep the administration from exterminating unowned, stray campus cats (as they did during the 1994 Christmas break) the Coalition was formed and implements a non-lethal population control program referred to as the "trap/neuter/release method." This widely-accepted alternative to extermination has become very popular in the past few years. Stanford and The University of Washington have had excellent success rates using this program.
To date 40 cats and kittens have been caught here at UT. Adult cats are neutered, vaccinated, tagged, and released back on campus. Volunteers then provide them with food and water daily. Kitten are trapped, fostered and socialized by volunteers and later placed up for adoption at the Humane Society/SPCA.
The Coalition operates solely on contributions and receives no financial support from the University. Donations may be sent to:
The Miss Priss Memorial Fund (UT Campus Cat Coalition)
c/o The Austin/Travis County Humane Society/SPCA
124 W. Anderson Lane
Austin, TX 78752
(Miss Priss was a neutered female cat and longtime resident around W. C. Hogg and was listed among the missing during the 1994 cat extermination.)
These homeless campus cats are the offspring of unwanted, unaltered, and abandoned pets from around the area who migrate to campus in search of food (usually via the dumpsters). If you have a pet, please have it spayed or neutered. If you leave the University and can't take your pet with you the Austin/Travis County Humane Society/SPCA will help. They are a noneuthanasia adoption facility and will help your pet find a permanent home.
More information can be found on our website at: http://www.ae.utexas.edu/cats
UT Staff Member
Campus Cat Coalition
Animal lovers know the difficulties involved in finding landlords who allow pets. Dogs are sometimes loud and difficult to hide. Indoor cats inevitably leave a pungent odor. Sometimes the easiest pet to have is an independent feline who stops by the doorstep for some food and affection, then plunges back into its private world.
Unfortunately, many owners of these outdoor cats overestimate their pets' independent nature. As classes end and students leave town, some leave their cats behind, assuming they will fend for themselves.
Most don't. Occasionally, compassionate neighbors will adopt an abandoned cat, but often felines die from starvation, disease, dog attacks and car accidents. Those that survive live out of dumpsters. Those that aren't neutered produce litters of feral, or wild, kittens that have an instinctive wariness toward humans are are difficult to tame.
Many of these feral cat colonies live in parks and alleys, outside restaurants, apartments, and on college campuses. The University is no exception. Cats migrate to the university campus from student neighborhoods. They became such a nuisance in 1994 that the administration conducted routine campus sweeps.
University employees discovered the cats were being captured and euthanized. They formed the Campus Cat Coalition which specializes in trapping, neutering, and releasing the felines. They have sterilized 44 adult cats to date.
"We have them tested for feline diseases, vaccinated against rabies, dewormed, and neutered," said Jan Shrode, director of the CCC. "Then we release them back on campus and make sure they get fed daily. You can't put a collar on a wild cat, so we have the vet crop the tip of left ear. This is a national identification method for neutered, stray cats. It also keeps them from being euthanized if they ever get picked up by animal control."
"The problem is that our organization works strictly off of donations. We'd like people to realize that abandoning pets is illegal, so we can spend the donated money on something other than neutering new ones" she added.
Shrode domesticates the feral kittens at home and places them up for adoption at the Austin Humane Society, a no-kill pet adoption facility. The Coalition leaves the adult cats in the colonies due to "the laws of nature."
"When you trap a cat and kill it, you leave a vacuum at the dumpster," she said. "New cats will move in. But if you return the neutered cats to their original location, they'll protect that territory. That means we won't be spending more money needlessly."
Those compassionate neighbors who take in stray cats aren't necessarily happy about their new responsibilities, either. Many adopt cats because they feel compelled to, not because they want an addition to the family.
"One day the guy who lived next door disappeared and left his cat," said Tom Shirley, a 1998 graduate of the University. "I started feeding it while he was gone. I resented it, because I don't really like cats."
After he began to feed the cat, Shirley's problem worsened. "It would mate outside my door and make embarrassing howling noises, and then I realized she was pregnant," Shirley said. "I got worried that all these little stray kittens would be running around. I called Jan and she came out and helped me trap the cat. It cost me $65 to get her spayed. And it's not even my cat."
Shrode urges students to pay attention to their community responsibilities and report people who abandon animals. Abandoning a dog or cat is a crime punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine. Witnesses to animal dumping should contact the local animal cruelty authorities at (512)708-6000.
More information about the Campus Cat Coalition is available at http://www.ae.utexas.edu/cats.
Photo courtesy of Dick Lawler, Daily Texan
Photo courtesy Tom Lankes, Austin American-Statesman
They wander campus aimlessly, never go to class and have found the purrfect meal plan.
Mr. Gray, Stadium Spike, Patches, Mo and Tuxie -- along with about 100 other feral felines that prowl the University of Texas campus -- feast on a steady diet provided by a network of cat feeders from the UT Campus Cat Coalition. The group organized five years ago to make sure that the cats that populate the campus are healthy and sterilized. The cat lovers volunteer to trap the wild cats and get them a medical once-over, including neutering or spaying. They then return the healthy cats to campus to live out their nine lives.
The animals are "all over the campus," said UT employee Jan Shrode, who organized the cat lovers. "Some of them tend to congregate, and some of them are total loners. The cats are usually under something or pretty well tucked away during those daylight hours when the campus is really active. They don't want to interact with people. They want to be left alone."
UT is like many college campuses,with its share of wild cats in search of food. Some were once pets, left behind after students graduated. Those formerly unsterilized, domestic cats revert to their wild ways. When those cats breed, more feral cats appear. Back in 1989, Stanford University was the first campus to start a program to trap and neuter the animals and return them to their stalking grounds. It was call the "Trap/Neuter/Return Program." Other schools have followed suit. The UT coalition has counted 149 adults and kittens since 1995, according to the Web site Shrode started for the group three years ago.
"Studies have shown that if you remove all the cats from the area, new cats will come in. It's better to trap them, surgically sterilize them, and return them to their original location. Then you have a stable population of healthy cats," said Dr. Deborah Besch, who provides discounted veterinary services for the group.
Group controls UT's wild cats with care
Cat fanciers at UT banded together in 1994 after university officials, concerned about the health hazards of proliferating stray cats on campus, had 14 of them trapped and euthanized during a holiday break. Some of the exterminated cats had already been spayed or neutered, and many had been fed daily by UT employees or students. UT administrators wanted a solution, and Shrode offered one.
"We're a pretty organized group," she said. "We have weekday feeders. We have weekend feeders. We have backup weekend feeders. We have people who feed them during holidays too."
Shrode leaves little to chance. Each feeder pays out-of-pocked for the dry cat food. A special fund at the Austin Humane Society called the "Miss Priss Memorial Fund," after one of the euthanized campus cats, pays the veterinary bills. The coalition's Web site offers photographs, links and information about making donations. Shrode started a similar group in her hometown of Bastrop, where she tends six indoor cats, nine outdoor cats and a brood of foster kittens.
Nancy Macmahon, whose cat duties include providing a foster home for new kittens, said there are fewer feral cats on campus, which means the coalition's efforts are working. "The numbers have gone down because the program has worked. We have a reasonably stable population of resident cats who are not in the breeding pool anymore," she said.
Besides examining the cats and vaccinating them, Besch makes a notch on one ear of each cat to identify them and avoid duplication.
"Cats are extremely prolific breeders," the vet said. "Without too much trouble, you can end up with a lot of cats."
ON THE WEB: The site for the UT Campus Cat Coalition is www.ae.utexas.edu/cats/
Photo courtesy Tom Lankes, Austin American-Statesman
After years of comfortable living at a convenient UT location, Fred and Petty are now homeless and searching for a new place to rest their paws.
Fred and Peggy lived underneath campus building UA-9, next to the Student Services Building, until recently when the hole that gave them access to their home was patched.
"I think some of the people here are a little concerned. I'm not, though. They're survivors," said Paul Previte, an administrative assistant for the McDonald Observatory who has been caring for the two altered cats since October 1998. He even takes the time to make a special trip to the University on weekends to feed them.
"It's no big deal, I live by the University anyway," Previte said. "Besides, I need to give Fred some medication for 20 days for a mouth ulcer problem he's having."
Fred and Peggy are just two of the estimated 80 feral, or wild, cats that make the University their preferred home. Until 1995, feral cats living on campus were trapped and sent to local animal shelters to be destroyed. But not anymore, much to the relief of Previte and others who befriend the cats.
That method of dealing with the UT cats changed after what has become known as the infamous "Great Cat Round-Up of 1994." Over the 1994 Christmas break, UT administrators hired Sprague Pest Control to trap feral cats around campus. The company placed traps around Bellmont Hall, Moore Hall,the Main Building and the old Service Building. The exterminators caught 14 cats, which were taken to the Town Lake Animal Shelter [the city pound] and euthanized.
When faculty, staff and students returned to the University for the spring semester, many were outraged when they discovered what had happened to the cats. UT administrators said the cats were removed because they posed a health risk.
"When we came back after Christmas, we accidentally found out about it and decided we needed to do something," said Jan Shrode, administrative assistant in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. "We told the administration that removing and killing the cats wasn't solving the problem."
With the help from faculty, staff, student and Alley Cat Allies, the national feral cat network, Shrode convinced UT administrators to allow the cats to live on campus.
"When administrators get good publicity, they like that," Shrode said.
The Campus Cat Coalition humanely traps cats and transports them to local veterinarians. They are tested for various feline diseases, vaccinated and surgically sterilized. They are also ear-tipped and microchipped for identification purposed. This ensures that the same cat is not caught twice for altering. The method used is referred to as "TNRM - trap, neuter, return, manage.
The 50-member coalition, mostly faculty and staff, relies on donations from the UT community to finance their crusade. Donations to into the Miss Priss Memorial Fund, named after a neutered cat who resided around the W. C. Hogg Building that was listed among the missing in 1994 round-up. Miss Priss had been spayed and was fed by a staff member every day for eight years.
The Campus Cat Coalition also helps feral kittens under 12 weeks old find homes. The kittens are trapped, fostered and socialized by coalition members before they are adopted. These days, feral kittens are a rarity on campus -- there have been no feral kittens born on campus for the past three years.
Nancy Macmahon, an administrative associate in the Department of Computer Sciences, said she joined the Coalition three years ago after hearing about Shrode's work through Siamese Rescue, a similar cat rescue organization.
"Jan works right across the street, so one day I just walked over to meet her," Macmahon said.
Macmahon, who has five cats of her own, has helped the Campus Cat Coalition and Siamese Rescue foster and find homes for many feral kittens. "It just seems like an endless stream of kittens," Macmahon said. "But we've had a lot of good luck. Sometimes we pass them along to friends to adopt. We're running out of friends."
Fred and Peggy are proof that feral cats can live quietly on campus without being a nuisance to the UT community.
"Everybody in this building know Fred and Peggy," Paul Previte said. "They're like the local UT kitties."
Peggy was named after Peggy Berdahl, wife of former UT president Robert Berdahl, after she made a contribution to the Campus Cat Coalition.
As for Fred, "I don't know how we came up with his name," Shrode said. "I think we just pulled it out of the air."
For more information about the UT Campus Cat Coalition visit
|Home||Back to Publicity|