Friendly felines frolic on campus

Students encounter cats across Cal High


Alexia Broughton

Noodle the Cal High cat glares menacingly at the camera.

Alexia Broughton, Investigative Editor

If you’ve ever been to Cal High after hours – possibly from 5-7 p.m.-you may have seen some little shadowy figures roaming around the parking lot.
Whether it’s after a football game or a school dance, you will often see them strutting around in the night. These sneaky little creatures are none other than the cats that rule the campus after hours.
While many students on campus have seen these cats at some point, questions arise in their minds: Who feeds them? Where did they come from?
Sports teams who have practice after school have reported seeing them running around and being fed by several ladies.
After days and days of investigation, scouting out after hours in the back lot, I’ve been able to meet the individuals who feed the cats, as well as speak with others who approached the cats and see them often. While the infamous cat-sitting ladies all wish to remain anonymous, I had the honor to speak with them personally, and learn about the cat’s origin.
“I would say [they show up] around like 5:30-5:45, 6:00, usually kinda get out of practice around that time,” cross county coach Nick Shea said. “I usually see them walking back to my car.”
Custodians have reported seeing the cats in the back parking lot as well as on the Iron Horse Trail. They have also been spotted under storage containers and by the creek behind the school.
“During school the cats aren’t here,” head custodian Roberto Manrique said. “They are far away during school time.”
For years these cats have been wandering around the back of campus and are well known among neighbors and other members of the community. They’ve been proudly repping the Grizzly Nation since 2017.
“[The cats] have been here for a few years,” said a Cal High neighbor who wishes to stay anonymous. “I would say more than five, four or five years.”
To answer the question of how these cats are getting fed, they have multiple different food sources. They have their very own private chefs coming from all over the local neighborhoods, who bring them wet food and leave it in the parking lots.
While they are fed in the mornings and at night, their lunch menu typically consists of student’s leftover food, such as pizza crust and chips. How appetizing.
“The cats started from the trail, and then they started finding food here inside the court,” Manrique said.
It has been reported the cats have been spotted with multiple different groups of people feeding them. Some with kids and some just individual neighbors. They are often seen with a few ladies who come by regularly, as well as some students.
“Four (groups of) people come to feed them,” custodian Jose Flores said. “I talked to one lady. She took them to get spayed and neutered at the vet.”
Once the cats started becoming more noticed by the school community, a group of neighbors known as a “rescue group” came by and captured them to take them to get fixed.
“The ‘cat rescue group’ was able to catch them, but it took them a couple of weeks, and that’s how we know they’re female,” the anonymous neighbor said.
The official names of these felines have yet to be revealed, but students and teachers over the years have been calling them by multiple different names. Some of them include Smudge, Spot, Ferdinand, and Bebo.
Personally, my favorite of the bunch is the one I call Noodle, who is typically the most friendly and hangs out by the tech building.
“The one that I like the most, Bebo, he sits over by the fire hydrant in the parking lot,” sophomore Abe Yassine said.
Because they are so popular and loved, the cats have become part of the school’s community and will be known forever known as the “Cal High cats.”
“They are part of Cal High because they are very friendly, and they help with the environment,” Flores said. “No more mice.”
From Cal’s personal mice traps to the school’s unofficial mascots, these friendly felines bring excitement when they show up and visit students involved in after school activities.