A Category 4 hurricane threatens Durham, but Duke's cats will be safe.
As Hurricane Florence looms near, students who call themselves the Caretakers of Peaches have made plans to shelter the popular stray, as well as other feral cats on campus.
“As of now, Peaches and Mamabean have safe places to stay,” wrote Madeleine Gagné, sophomore and an administrator of the Facebook group, in a post. “[We] are going to try and grab them tomorrow night and take them to their designated locations.”
Gagné and Anna Li, Trinity ’18 and another admin of the group, confirmed to The Chronicle that the two calico cats will stay with an alumnus at the Lofts apartments. Though Gagné had been trying to house the cats at the Smart Home, at which she is a resident, Li said that Duke’s Housing and Residence Life denied the request.
The students will also try to capture the feral cats known to live near the Bryan Center. However, their fates are less certain, as “they are much less normalized to human interactions."
“We’re talking through [what to do about] the BC cats and the other cats on campus,” said junior Lily el Naccash, speaking on decisions reached by the Caretakers group. “But, we encourage people on campus who love cats to do what they can to help.”
The National Hurricane Center predicts that Florence will weaken to a tropical storm by the time it reaches Durham, but the region is still expected to get up to 10 inches of heavy rain. Duke and most other colleges in the Triangle have canceled classes for the week.
“Wherever you live in North Carolina, you need to get ready for this storm now, and you need to evacuate if asked to,” Governor Roy Cooper said in a press release.
North Carolina has not seen a major hurricane since 1996, when the Category 3 Hurricane Fran barreled as far inland as Raleigh. It killed 24 residents and caused more than $11 billion in damage in the state, in today’s dollars.
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