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Fordham's Newest Public Enemy: The Feral Colony



Fordham University


- satire

Fordham's Newest Public Enemy: The Feral Colony

Vaccinate yourself before you wreck yourself.

Emma Carey


“Of, relating to, or suggestive of a wild beast.”

-Merriam-Webster Dictionary on the definition of the word “feral”

Read time: 6 minutes.

With the holiday season in full swing, Rose Hill’s typical sense of cheer and semester’s-end-sentimentality has been over-scored by an irrevocable air of dread. After all, it was just one month ago that Fordham students received the startling Public Safety email announcing the dual-attack of two Fordham students by campus feral cats.

In weeks since, caf-goers and “Urban Kitchen”-mongers alike have been walking with their head on a swivel… And rightfully so, as officials reported that the feline trespassers have taken to biting and scratching randomly selected victims, even hospitalizing one student. With a whopping 3 confirmed cases of rabies in 2015 - and no evidence that this statistic hasn’t raised in the past two years - the threat of these feline felons is no laughing matter.

Fordham authorities have been fumbling for answers - there must be some kind of method to these sadistic creatures’ madness. Their only conclusion? Fear of the unknown. “If you get too close,” their email informed students, “a feral cat will see you as a threat, and may respond by biting or scratching.” If bitten, authorities say the wound should be treated “promptly and aggressively.” This is no job for a half-hearted Neosporin and Band-Aid; the work of the feral colony is an entirely different beast.

But how long can we treat the symptoms (and scrapes) of this issue before it unfolds into an epidemic? If we draw war territory on anywhere “near Metro North railroad tracks, near the parking garage, and near food locations,” at what point will our entire campus fall subject to furry fury? Keeping our tails tucked is no good; we must work to understand these endearing savages. In the spirit of immersive journalism, our team ventured straight into the battlegrounds to learn more about our newfound public enemies.

The Ferals of Fordham: Un-Domesticated

In the bushes along the Lombardi Center, we met our ambassador into the feral colony: Ginger.

Ginger wasn’t born with a notch on his ear; it was surgically given to him. The same way that he wasn’t born neutered. But he is. A subject of the Fordham trap, neuter, release (TNR) program for feral cats, Ginger is a member of what Fordham authorities have dubbed the “feral colony.” A peaceful community, the feral colony has quietly endured years of misunderstanding from the Fordham community, many of them accepting its repercussions without a single meow. However, after their recent defamation Fordham media, Ginger and his fellow community members’ backs are arched.

“We don’t scratch unless we’re provoked,” says Ginger, “All I’m saying is the only ‘beasts’ I’ve ever seen walking around here have been on hind legs.”

"We don't scratch unless we're provoked."

We urged Ginger to explain further. The orange-striped feral cat, who was given this name without consent by a female student outside of the cafe, had his own two cents to share from his nine lives:

“I mean the worst part is they all assume we’re their pets or something. We’re not domestic by choice, you know? But every day there’s this coaxing; the to-go cups of cow’s milk; the catcalled ‘meows’ from students. It gets to a point of just blatant disrespect.”

Ginger was joined in his interview by a dark-furred feral cat who has requested that her name not be shared, as she is currently on the lam from a previous ownership. The late-addition interviewee cautiously slinked over for a few closing remarks:

“Hearing Fordham officials condone this sort of alienation towards our community is just appalling. ‘Don’t approach’ me? ‘Never feed, handle, touch, grab, or make sudden movements’ towards me? Just because we’re ‘feral’ doesn’t mean we’re somehow unbridled... I’m not some kind of wild animal. Well, technically I am. But not in a bad way.”

Profound. When asked what students can do to bridge this schism, the two cats requests’ were simple: live and let live. “And stop bringing us cups from the rice milk machine. We’re not some gluten-free [pussy cats],” said Ginger.

Shortly after this, the two felines began to engage in a wrestling match for no apparent reason. However, with tensions running high for Fordham felines as of late, it’s safe to speculate that this was likely an act of displaced aggression.

An image captured by one of our photographers just moments before the two cats engaged in combat. Though unharmed, the photographer was promptly admitted to Health Services according to protocol.