MenagerieHome is where the cat is: A DLSU adoption story
Home is where the cat is: A DLSU adoption story
March 11, 2019
March 11, 2019

They’re fat from love.

When you enter the University, you might notice a chunky, charming “fixture” near the North Gate. He sometimes appears to be on the lookout with his piercing eyes scanning each person entering the campus. This fixture is Archer—the famous security cat of De La Salle University.

Archer is one of the innumerable cats in the University. The further you go in campus, the easier it is to spot the many other lovable cats who also call DLSU their home. You can find cats snoozing on benches, nestling on students and their things, and even attending classes, with professors and students alike welcoming their furry visitor. Many can’t help but form attachments to their favorite campus feline, and it causes understandable sadness when one day their favorite cat isn’t at its usual haunts.

De La Salle University-Professors for the Upliftment of Society’s Animals (PUSA) is the organization who has made it their advocacy to care for the campus cats. Since 2017, they have also been facilitating the adoption of these campus felines. Let us take a look at the adoption process and the life after DLSU of many of our beloved Lasallian cats.



Screening for love

Professor Laureen Velasco is well-known in the community for her thought-provoking philosophy lectures. But perhaps she is better known as one of the founders of PUSA and her passion for animals; she currently cares around for 70 cats in her home. “I do more for PUSA than I do in my full-time job. It’s like having another full-time job. I’m overwhelmed sometimes, but you gotta love what you do,” Velasco exclaims.

Before the cats are adopted into their forever homes, one must contact PUSA as there is a screening process and a set of requirements that must be met for those interested.

Professor Pao Peña from the Economics Department, who is a happy parent of a former campus cat, explains that he had to fulfill the requirements before he was able to take Scamper home. More than that, PUSA still keeps in contact after adoption. Velasco elaborates, “We want regular updates with photos because we are not trying to get rid of our animals—we’re trying to find them another home.” Peña later adopted Scamper’s sister, Throttle, too.

However, not all cats are up for adoption. “Mooncake is the cat of an alumnus. He wants Mooncake to stay in the campus for people to enjoy,” Velasco explains. She says that solitary cats who don’t like being touched are also not up for adoption.

One such account is Felix, who was returned after three days of being adopted. “He likes being there with the guards. He’s happy here in DLSU so that has to be respected. Some [cats] adjust very well [after adoption], but when you have a personality like that you have to respect it. You want what’s best for them, factoring also their personality,” Velasco expresses.

Velasco explains that they operate under a “first come, first serve” system. She retells the story of a girl who cried for hours after Tinker was adopted because she wanted to adopt him, too. “But this person was already ready to pick her up and she also loved Tinker very much. She graduated already and couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing Tinker anymore,” she recounts.


Life in their f(u)rever homes

With his resting sad face, the semi-feral Magnum has found his forever home in the loving arms of PUSA volunteer Jake Lacquias (III, MMC).

Before he was adopted, Magnum always avoided human interactions. After a few days, Magnum finally appeared at ease in Lacquias’ home. He noticed that Magnum has become affectionate not only to him, but also to his roommates and visitors. “He doesn’t even scratch our furniture given that a lot of it is made of wood. Magnum came to be a very gentle sweetheart,” Lacquias comments.

“Currently, Magnum sees me and my roommates as his buddies that hang out with him,” Lacquias shares. Though he might look heartbroken with his sad-looking eyes, Magnum, at heart, is now a happy cat with a new favorite place—Lacquias’ arms.

Speaking of favorite places, Scamper and Throttle’s new favorite hangout is in Peña’s study area where he spends most of his time when he is not in the University. Peña calls them the “Study Cat Mafia” as they can get rowdy sometimes. It does not bother him though, knowing that they are enjoying each other’s company.

“I love them to bits. Aside from keeping me company all the time, they have given me moments of joy especially when I am in the middle of crunch time for papers and exams,” Peña shares. Scamper and Throttle are sensitive cats who can sense when Peña is having an exhausting day. “They have antics that make you smile or even laugh. One time I passed out on my couch in the study. Two hours later, I woke up and both cats were also sleeping—one on my chest, the other on my thighs,” Peña recalls.

Though the sisters are now comfortably living in Pena’s place, he still notices that Scamper and Throttle sometimes miss their campus friends. He once brought Scamper back to DLSU where she took part in PUSA’s television appearance last January.


To adopt or not to adopt

Every adoption brings mixed emotions—a bittersweet feeling whenever we pass by the usual spots of our favorite furry friends and realize they are now in the comforts of their new homes. “We miss them, it always is both a combination of [sadness] and happiness whenever a cat is adopted. But we’re happier they have a home,” Velasco reassures.

It is soothing to think that the cats are now in the gentle hands of people who care and love them as much as we do—people who know that every animal deserves a home. “Adopting stray or abandoned pets may be a challenge, but don’t let that hinder you from giving them the love and respect that they deserve,” Lacquias puts forward.

Peña affirms that adopting Scamper is something that he doesn’t regret, “I never had cats before, but this one was special. I decided that it is time to adopt her because it felt that we were a match. If your heart has enough space for them, why not give them what they deserve because they have so much to offer with the very little that we could do for them.”

If you are interested in bringing home one of these sweet felines, DLSU-PUSA and Ms. Laureen Velasco can easily be reached through their Facebook page or through their email at [email protected]