The abandoned cats of Trent University


You are officially an adult with your legal ID, and attending university. You may be planning towards your first apartment if it is not already your place of living. Hey! I think I will get a kitten, you may think to yourself.


Over the past five years, Paul Cordeiro suspects that the Food Service workers at Trent University have caught up to 60 felines. An employee himself, Cordeiro was hired at Aramark in 2013 and caught 39 cats outside of the university. Most were kittens born in spring or summer.

Colleen Carter is the Union President for local 3205 and wrote to Arthur, concerned about educating the students on campus at Trent University. Representing the Food Service Workers at Trent, Carter explained that students could decide to keep a kitten.

However, the kittens will often escape the dorm rooms, get outside and become lost.

The issue is especially concerning for multiple kittens, as they grow, reproduce, birth more kittens and can all die during the winter from a lack of shelter, warmth and food.

It is heartbreaking seeing these cats have litters of kittens in the cold with nothing to eat…When the temperatures plummet we become greatly concerned for their [lives],” wrote Carter.

She believes that abandonment is not intentional by students; however, it is hard to imagine students of post-secondary institutions acting so irresponsibly towards the lives of kittens.

It is further curious that the residential Dons have not presented cats as an issue.

The Humane Society across Canada has long felt the burden of students adopting kittens and abandoning them, usually without adequate health care.

The student community fosters this cruel treatment of cats, but the same community can reverse it.

Students have the power to make change amongst each other. As of now, it appears that students living on campus are not making the efforts of the Food Services workers easy at all.

Rescuing these poor animals appears to be a Food Service team effort.

Cordeiro explains that his fellow employees have donated money and cat food to him, as well as helped to foster, and even adopt, some of the rescued cats.

Before employment with Aramark (now with Chartwells), Corderio volunteered at an animal rescue organization.

When Peterborough Regional Health Centre let him go, the cost of feeding the cats day and night, seven days a week, became much more difficult. Corderio explained that his wife is not working, but neither of them are holding back from caring for the cats.

Corderio describes receiving incredible help through the donations of the owners of Pet Valu at the Brookdale Plaza on Chemong Rd. The owners believe that every animal deserves a second chance and are working with local animal rescue initiatives.

However, the Lakefield Animal Welfare Society (LAWS) has taken on the majority of the foster care and healthcare of the felines.

They also deserve most of the credit,” said Cordeiro.

Donations of dry cat food or money can be delivered to Cordeiro at Otonabee College after contacting him at 705-977-0300.

Donations can also be brought to the Brookdale Pet Valu store as they take many of the caught felines.

Still want to adopt a furry feline friend? Make sure you can afford food, shelter and all health expenses, including medications and vaccinations.

When you do not spay or neuter your cat, they reproduce and even more kittens are born without a home. In the case of Trent University, many kittens are born in the snow and do not survive the winter.

About Reba Harrison 31 Articles
You know that crazy cat lady with red hair, a love for charity, and a passion for social justice? That's me. I view everything in a critical light and am dedicated to bringing readers the alternative side of the truth. After Spring 2016, I will be entering my fifth and final year at Trent University as a Woman Studies and Business student. Where I will go next? Who knows! But I forsee a dozen cats in my future, and a long life in the Arthur newspaper's future.