Last Christmas, I gave you ‘Meow’ Heart!

Welcome to my first blog of 2018! And to start things off on a right paw, let’s talk about Cats!

Cats became my new favorite beings, and a big influence in this is because of the school I’m attenting to. The campus is a mecca for cats needing some loving! Students and faculty let these cats run the school grounds, they even have their own territory bench and no one sits there but the cats, it’s that amazing.

The first time I saw them I thought it was cool but never really paid attention to the cats. But as the semesters went by and I would sometimes find myself sitting alone at the corner bench of the campus when I came to school early watching the cats roam around, I began to marvel their presence.

This past Christmas break I got a text from Mari, asking if I liked cats, and so I answered that the school we both go to made me like them. Then she proposed that we volunteer to feed the campus critters during Christmas break, to which of course I said yes.

But first we needed to train for the actual feeding as I’ve watched before that there feeding them is quite different from other cats. So we went on the 21st of December to be trained by a Master Jedi of Cats, Ms. Laureen Velasco – a faculty in the university.

Part 1: Training

I arrived in school with Mari already waiting for me at the gates, she was most excited that day, compared to me, she’s the 10/10 cat person, compared to her, I’m about a 7/10 cat lover. We met Ms. Laureen at her office to which we were briefed for a while, and soon enough we were on our way to training.

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Ms. Laureen introducing the Cats to us.

I stayed on the back during the training and let Mari take on the detailed feeding program that they have. All I could remember was how to mix the dry and wet food that they feed the cats. It’s a mixture of dry cat food with wet cat food which is sardines (but the one for cats) – But for me I couldn’t really tell the difference because I bet the sardines for the cat is edible for human consumption because they smell the same to me.

Honestly, I thought that there were only around 15 cats in the campus. But as Ms. Laureen brought us to the different territories of the feline population, I realized that there were more, a LOT more.

To understand more of how they do things, watch this feature from GMA News TV’s Reel Time:

Today the official count is at 63 Cats – SIXTY THREE, that’s not a typo. We were to feed 63 cats on that night, and that’s the known population of the campus cats, it may go up as sometimes Ms. Laureen told us that they would find new cats from time to time.

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Archer and Animo are some of the Cats I recognize

What amazes me about Ms. Laureen is how dedicated she is into the welfare of these feline wonders. Not only that, she introduced the Cats to us by name! Each one had a name and sometimes Ms. Laureen would tell the story of a particular pussycat and how they got it or how it behaves, or if it’s sick. She even knows the die, because some of them who are sick need a ‘soft diet’ so they needed to be fed differently, and some are shy to the point where you have to put the food away from the others and leave it there and let the cat approach on its timing.

By the time we were done, two hours have already passed! It was me that was needing some feeding this time, so I declared that a visit to the nearest Subway was a must.

We thank and bid our holiday greetings to Ms. Laureen after the training as she bid us good luck as we were scheduled to do the feeding on the 23rd.

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Part 2: Feeding Day

December 23, 2017

We agreed to meet just before five ‘o clock in the afternoon and I arrived first and so I went in and greeted the cats near the gates, trying to explain to them that I can’t start feeding them yet because Mari wasn’t yet around. Yes, I did talk to the cats, don’t judge me from that scenario alone, I once argued with my dog and ended up losing.

Mari actually took a lot of notes during training and so when she arrived she actually brought a print out of the campus map with special instructions on particular diets of the cats and places where to feed them, which was very helpful to me as there were so many territories inside the campus.

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We set out, Mari and I, we were the only students in the campus that day, carrying food and water, we were like a supercat hero duo called ‘The Feline Hunger Busters’ – ready to feed 63++ cats on a cold, windy, 23rd of December.

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Looks like Mari is happier than Archer and Animo

Armed with the map cheat sheet, we went to their territories and called names for them to come. They were excited to see us, I do think they remembered us, or maybe they just recognized the food containers.

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For some reason, walking around campus with the Felines outnumbering the Human population was quite relaxing, not physically but internal peace, I told Mari that the campus felt like a retreat house, and it was also the first time we were exploring the campus, and I wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for this Christmas cause.

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I really did enjoy feeding 63 Cats that will probably worship me the next time they see me because I think I fed them a little more than what they should have, couldn’t have done it without Mari’s expertise on Cats, and of course, the organization of DLSU-PUSA who spend so much from their pockets just to feed these lovely creatures. And Ms. Laureen who trained us, she was so lovely to watch while she fed the cats and talked about them, you can just really feel the passion in there.

We finished about 2 hours later and as before, we were hungry and went for chicken. I’ll leave you with a slideshow of photos taken while having this aMEOWzing experience.

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