On Thursday, March 2, the dean of students at LAU, Read Mohsen, sent an awareness email about the cats on LAU premises.
Based on the email, Dr. Raed explains why measures are going to be taken in order for the cats to be kept out of the LAU buildings and how some acts will be prohibited by students and even faculty members. After conducting an interview with Dr. Raed, he explains that a committee was formed in order to keep the cats on campus, however begin putting down rules to keep students, and the cats safe from harm.
“The cats have become a part of the LAU family but that doesn’t mean they won’t have rules just like our students”, Dr. Raed claims.
Dr. Raed also began explaining how Animal Care Club was formed for the cats that were born on campus and the ones entering now. These members are teachers with compassion towards animals, especially cats, who want to keep these felines on campus with better care.
One of the members of the Animal Care Club (ACC), who has been teaching at LAU for almost 25 years, wished to remain unknown but did give out enough information about how and why the committee was formed. The unknown professor spoke about the difficulties of having cats on campus all those years ago and how the university has become accustomed to the cats and have become part of the university. “One time years ago, people came and stuffed cats into bags and let them loose on the Cortina near the butcher shops and were not found after hours of searching.”
They also mentioned that they spent over $400 each month to feed and vaccinate the cats on campus, and feed any cats found around the neighborhoods near the university. “Thankfully now that we formed a committee, we are granted a sufficient amount of money to vaccinate and neuter the cats on campus, also providing special food for them.”
Based on an article “Cats on Campus: Purrfect Policies from Feline-Friendly Colleges” by Amanda Page on the Petcentric newsletter site, having cats on campus can help students with homesickness when living far from their families. Page also adds that, “it can foster social interactions that might not happen otherwise. Plus, there’s a responsibility component. Students who didn’t have a pet at home will learn that responsibility here.”
Although this may seem like good news for the cat lovers at LAU, some still have difficulties with the presence of cats. Based on an interview with a student with a horrific phobia towards cats, Noor Abutarraf admits she is frightened every time a cat walks past her. “The worst thing is when I hear or find a cat in my class. I scream and jump out of my chair and cannot focus until they remove the cat from the classroom.”
Abutarraf also exclaims how embarrassed she feels when everyone stops and stares at her and feels relief after Dr. Raed sent the email prohibiting the cats from buildings and classrooms.
Having cats available has been a great progress in humane treatment of animals. Animals Lebanon and other animal shelter organizations are very thankful for LAU and other institutions for opening their doors to keep cats safe from traffic and dangerous circumstance many other cats are still in. animals Lebanon and LAU are working hard to keep complaints non-existent and help as many cats as possible with causing a nuisance to students and faculty members on campus.
Interviews with: Dr. Raed Mohsen, LAU professor, Noor Abutarraf (student)