The Facts Behind Felines: An up-close look at the ‘Hofcats’

Many Long Islanders have had firsthand experience with the feral cats that call the Island home. In Hempstead, however, Hofstra University seems to have a particular history that is intertwined with the fates of these felines. What do the ghost of a university founder and the pandemic have to do with today’s rampant cat population? For the Long Island Advocate, Hunter Spears has the story.

Across from the gazebo at Hofstra University in Hempstead, seven “Hofcats” congregated after receiving treats from a student. Their similar black-and-white coats are a likely sign of inbreeding. // Photo by Hunter Spears/Long Island Advocate
A curious Hofcat emerged from the bushes in front of Hofstra’s David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex, while others looked on from the background. // Photo by Hunter Spears/Long Island Advocate
Inside the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter’s cattery, a tower of world-weary rescue cats observe visitors with caution. // Photo by Hunter Spears/Long Island Advocate
At Hempstead’s shelter, 2-year-old Tulip gazed out the window. Since she is more social, she lives in the open-air cattery, though an abundance of shelter cats means that many spend most of their time in cages. // Photo by Hunter Spears/Long Island Advocate

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