Fifty Photographs: selections from SCUA collections

Cats on campus

by Marie Phillips, ca.1994

The barns and agricultural buildings on the west side of the UMass Amherst campus once sustained a sizable colony of feral cats who were in turn cared for by a dedicated group of volunteers. The most famous cat care-giver was the eccentric Leo Robinson, a Mass Aggie grad and World War I veteran who cared for the cats from the 1940s to early 1970s. Marie Phillips was one of a later group of volunteers. With new construction and the obliteration of most of the old barns -- the horse barn where this photo was taken was moved up Pleasant Street to the new Agriculture Learning Center -- rhe cat population has been dispersed, though not entirely gone nor forgotten.