Fred and Gracie — a beloved pair of cats — have freely roamed the campus of Camellia Elementary School in Sacramento, California. However, the school district has recently announced they can no longer do so, as per CBS News. The popular feline duo have called the campus their home for three years.
Retired teacher Margaret Myers took it upon herself to look after the cats when they initially showed up. Despite her retirement, she continues to visit the campus to ensure their well-being. Myers said, “They’ve really been instrumental in helping bring stress relief and comfort to the kids and staff.”
Both felines even have a column in the campus newspaper. While Gracie is a feral cat and usually keeps a distance from humans, Fred is more approachable and has even been occasionally invited to classrooms. “The kids are very accepting of Fred,” Myers stated. “He’s never scratched anyone, bitten anyone.”
Health concerns lead to eviction of Sacramento campus cats
Recently, a complaint was lodged alleging that cats should not be allowed on school property.
Brian Heap, a spokesperson for the Sacramento City Unified School District, said, “There were some concerns that perhaps having Fred on campus posed some health concerns.” He continued further, “There are some of our students and staff who might be allergic.”
As a result, the school district has declared that Fred must leave. Heap explains that the concern stems from the animals being feral or stray cats. The issue is the lack of control mechanisms to prevent the felines from wandering around the halls, intruding in classrooms, and potentially causing inconvenience or posing a health and safety threat.
The school has yet to inform the children about this decision.
Myers believes the decision could be rather distressing for the children, saying, “I think it’s going to be somewhat traumatic for some of the kids.”
The school, identifiable by its cougar mascot, is now making efforts to rehome Fred. Despite the impending removal, Myers is proposing a middle ground: prohibiting the feline residents from entering the buildings, but letting them stay in the area. “Just let the cats be,” she said. “They’re not hurting anyone.”
According to the district, no concrete plans have been made regarding the time frame of the cat’s removal. The city’s animal shelter also added that they do not have a policy in place to pick up healthy stray cats.