Cats are one of the most common pets at Goucher, and for good reason. Unlike dogs, they don’t have to be taken outside. If they have not been approved for college housing, they can easily be kept inside of a dorm room. Pringle, though, is legal. Owned by Hannah Brogan, ’19, and Ali Tomasevich, ’19, she is an orange and white tabby of about three years.
“We’re not sure of her age because she’s a rescue,” said Hannah. “In fact, we found her just outside of the SRC.”
Hannah and Ali found Pringle on April 11, 2017. They tried to contact Pringle’s owner via Facebook, but when that proved unsuccessful, Hannah ended up keeping her. She’s been at Goucher ever since.
“It’s been great having her. We love her so much, and she definitely helps keep us from being emotional train wrecks,” Hannah said.
Cats are more likely to become stray than dogs since many people believe that a cat will be able to survive better outdoors. However, this is not true. While cats retain a hunting drive that has been more easily bred out of dogs, a stray cat won’t easily survive if it has been raised indoors. Hunting takes practice, after all, and if a cat has never been able to practice, it’s not going to catch anything. According to baltimorecountymd.gov, the number of stray cats found and taken by humane societies in 2016 was 2,108, as opposed to stray dogs, who numbered 1,175. Cats were also more likely to be relinquished by their owners last year, the number totaling 867 versus 599 for dogs. Because of the mistaken belief that cats are more predisposed to living in the wild, owners who no longer want their cats may lock them out of the house or abandon them in a secluded, wooded area. Luckily for Pringle, she found her way onto Goucher’s campus.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for cat owners on campus – or for that matter, owners of any animal at Goucher – is the fire drills. So far this semester, fire drills have mostly been during the day and not in the middle of the night. Still, students often don’t know which fire alarms are drills and which ones are real. For pet owners, fire drills can be quite stress-inducing as many animals don’t like or get frightened by the noise.
“If pet owners could know about fire drills in advance so we could prepare that would be really helpful,” said Hannah. “Pringle isn’t a big fan of the great outdoors, so it can be stressful for us when we have to rush out of the building.”
A typical day for Pringle includes a lot of napping, usually in the closet. Her favorite food is chicken cat food, and she loves playing.
“Her playing sometimes involves scratching, which is more fun for her than it is for us, but she doesn’t mean to hurt us,” said Hannah.
Overall, though, Pringle is doing well and has adjusted to her new home.