UT employees stepped up to care for the University’s resident cat, Domino, after the University’s Landscape Services removed his home.
Last week, Landscape Services removed the bushes Domino lives in because they died in Februrary’s winter storm, said Carin Peterson, senior training and outreach coordinator for Environmental Health and Safety at the University.
“Folks in Landscape Services are well aware of the cats on campus,” Peterson said. “They wanted us to put the word out before they did anything, to let all the folks who take care of the cats on campus, especially Domino … know this was going to be happening.”
Landscape did not fill in the hole Domino uses to go under the building and replaced his shelter and food bowl after removing the bushes, according to Cats of West Campus,
Domino is currently at a new location but should relocate to the bushes shortly, Peterson said.
“His caretakers assured us all that he’s fine,” Peterson said. “He was a little scared at first, but he started eating at his new location and he’ll be moved back as soon as they are done.”
While this is the first time the Environmental Health and Safety group has worked with Domino, the group has ensured the safety of other animals on campus during construction in the past.
“We do collaborate with them on all sorts of projects,” Peterson said. “They take care of all the landscaping on campus so they may encounter birds nests or bees, so that’s where our paths cross.”
Landscape Services plans to replant the bushes when it’s cooler in the fall, and Domino can safely return then, according to Veronica Trevino, media manager for financial and administrative services at the University.
One of Domino’s caretakers, Albert MacKrell, said while the cat is adjusting he is scared by the change.
“It’s not really a question of him being moved, it’s a question of the shelter that made him feel safe being removed one day,” said MacKrell, an assistant professor of practice in the College of Natural Sciences. “He’s relocated himself and he’s hiding a lot more.”