University for Cats

Students that attend the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana in Mexico city get something extra with their education, a free lesson in compassion courtesy of some four-legged friends.

The university, which is located in an old convent, is known as a university that helps teach students to respect cats.

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All images are from 3 Million dogs unless otherwise stated

Before the university was open the first cats on the property were thought to have belonged to the nuns who would have kept them as companions and to keep rodent populations down to help prevent plagues.

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After the convent was closed in the 19th century, many cat skeletons were found buried on the property during extensive renovations in 1976

In 1979 when the university officially opened it was decided to continue the tradition of having cats on the property, as people continued to abandon cats and kittens there and felines kept showing up on their own. The university decided to take steps to help control the population after it grew to over 100 cats in 10 years. They introduced  spay and neuter, adoption and a public education campaign to create awareness around the cats.

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The population slowly came under control and adoptions were monitored with background checks and follow-up, and according to 3 million dogs, there remain about 20 cats who currently live on the property. This successful TNR campaign is due to the humane treatment of the cats by the university as well as students who volunteer to help by being responsible for re-homing cats they have fixed and vaccinated.

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Donations cover the medical bills and the university pays for the food

The cats all have names, are known to be very friendly and can often be seen hanging out in the “Patio de los Gatos” or The Cats’ Yard. The university makes sure the cats have everything they need like food dispensers, water, beds, toys and even scratching posts, throughout the property.

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Some teachers even allow cats to attend class

Cats have become an integral part of life on campus and the relationship is clearly mutually beneficial making this an ideal university for cats, and people.

Stevie The Blind Cat

Stevie the blind cat was adopted three years ago from a local cat vet hospital in Cork Ireland. Stevie had been there for months until Patrick Corr saw her, she had been originally placed at the hospital by the Animal Care Society of Cork Ireland in an attempt to find her a home. Patrick put together this video after adopting her and says that up until meeting Stevie he wasn’t a cat person, but she changed his life. He has to ensure that he keeps everything at home in the same place but other than that Stevie adapted fast.

Patrick recently posted a video of one their favorite activities, walking outside. Here he takes Stevie for a hike…up a mountain. The video has a great message and shows us that special needs cats make excellent companions and should not be overlooked when adopting.

Universal Message

I came across some cute educational videos by a Spanish organization called FAADA, the Foundation for the Assessment and Action in Defense of Animals, that I though were worth sharing. Their website is in Spanish so I had to rely on translation, please forgive me if it’s not exact.

FAADA exerts actions and campaigns for the protection of all animals in order to educate and raise awareness on the protection and defense of non-human animals, from different perspectives, linked to the defense of nature and ultimately, life.”

The organization is a non-profit for the protection of animals and works in four areas:

• Advice to individuals, organizations, companies, governments and bodies of authority
• awareness campaigns, education and outreach
• Legal Department (development and monitoring of complaints of abuse and neglect)
• political level local government, regional, national and international Lobby

Two of the videos launched address awareness of pet overpopulation, abandonment, identification and micro-chipping, and the other speaks to the importance of sterilization or spay and neuter.  They are a fun way to get across the very serious issues facing cats (and dogs) in Spain. Regardless of where you live animals everywhere can benefit by the universal message in these videos so please share.

The importance of identifying animals

The importance of sterilizing your animals

FAADA can also be found on Facebook.

Japans Cat Man

Japan is well-known for its love of cats and cat culture. They were the first to pioneer cat cafes, which have since popped up all over the world, and they even have their very own island where cats dominate and outnumber people 6 to 1.

Japan also has Masahiko Suga, a 53-year-old retired electronics company worker who has become the countries first official cat man.

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Masahiko can been seen walking his nine cats around Kitakyushu’s central shopping district area in south-west Japan. His daily walks have earned him the name of ‘Cat Man of Kyushu”, or Cat Uncle.

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Image – The Happy Lab

Masahiko rescued his first stray cat in 1999 and he said that they relieved his work stress but started taking them outside when they began to damage his furniture. Masahiko tells The Asahi Shimbun that he is happy if he “can give an opportunity for cat lovers unable to have one as a pet to feel comforted by playing with his cats.

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His little pride of well groomed cats includes Himalayan and Chinchilla Golden who are known for their laid back nature.

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Image – Rocket News 24

Japan, Cats, Japans Cat man, Japans Cat culture, Cat cafes, Cat Island, Equality for Cats, Masahiko Suga,

Image – Rocket News 24

Normally taking cats outside without being safely supervised is not something I would suggest, however from all accounts and comments by people who have actually met him the cats seems to be cozy and content.

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Image – Rocket News 24

So what exactly motivates Masahiko to walk his cats? Besides not being something you would see everyday, he says “I hope society will eventually give cats the status it gives to dogs” and, in a world where our feline friends often seem to get the short end of the stick, asking for cat equality sounds pretty good to me.

You can check out a short video of Masahiko on his walks or friend him on Facebook where he posts more pictures of his cats.

What do you think cat equality or cat-ploitation?