The secret of the underground cats at American

Kelly Li 

Staff Writer

     Pets are always a nice companion to have. In fact,  studies have shown that 56% of students benefit from school pets, but American doesn’t have a school pet, or do we? Many schools have school pets which can benefit students by teaching them responsibility, stimulating learning, and making students excited to go to school. Pets improve people’s health by decreasing stress, blood pressure, and even depression. At the beginning of the year, a few stray cats were spotted around campus. These strays aren’t the same as school pets because of our inability to interact with them, but do they give us the same benefit? 

     The strays have been spotted in between Ms. Bhasin’s classroom and a red fence. They have been provided a food and water bowl in the same area. The cats have been making tunnels under Ms. Bhasin’s classroom and have regularly popped in and out of them. They aren’t the only cats that have been spotted around campus. Some other cats have also been spotted in the back parking lot and were being fed before school started. 

     The cats around campus don’t have an apparent owner to advocate for them or keep them safe. Are we even allowed to have these cats around? Stray cats do not pass the CDC guidelines due to multiple safety issues, one regarding the spread of germs. Diseases such as rabies are hard to control in strays, and since we don’t know the medical history of these animals, we don’t know if they are safe or not. Basic cleanliness and immunization records are necessary for school pets. If these mysterious pets interact with students, they can spread unwanted germs. They could carry around many different diseases such as parasitic diseases, viral diseases such as rabies, or even fungal diseases  .

     They also pose the risk of unexpected aggression because they don’t get as much human interaction. Stray or feral cats can often get aggressive when interacting with humans because they aren’t used to it. Aggression can be very risky if a cat was to get aggressive with a student. If they were to scratch or bite a student, problems can arise with the safety of students. The unpredictable information about the cats makes them extremely dangerous for us to interact with them. They have their basic needs of food and water taken care of by humans, but we shouldn’t get too close to the cats because of the risks they pose.

      Although these cats don’t belong to anyone, should people try to help them? These cats are often very afraid of people so helping them would be a struggle. It’s difficult to try and help these cats without them being taken away from American. The best thing to do would be to contact an animal shelter about the cats and see if they are chipped, have their vaccines, and put them in a shelter. At the moment, they are doing okay with the tunnel for shelter, and their food bowls. They are well taken care of for stray cats. The cats are doing well as is, but if needed, there are many resources and shelters that people can contact to help out the cats. 

     The cats that appear everywhere around the school have definitely made a heartwarming impact on school. Spotting a cat around campus could bring a short period of calmness to stressed students, because who doesn’t love seeing a fluffy animal? Our inability to interact with them makes them much different than school pets, but allows us to coexist with them.  Although they don’t make a large impact in our school, these cats add a nice touch to the school’s environment, making their appearance every now and then. 

The cats have their own food and water bowls and are fed often. They have a tunnel behind the water and food bowls that they often go into for shelter. 

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