It is not a rare occasion to spot cats around campus at King’s Academy, as if to represent the King’s Lions’ spirit. In response, a new project has started on campus: the King’s Academy Fe-Lions. The Rexonian interviewed two of the founding members of the Fe-Lions, Ms. Meghan Metzger and Ms. Monica Matouk, to learn more about it.
The Rexonian: How did the idea to start the Fe-Lions project originate?
Fe-Lions: There have always been cats on campus, as is the inevitable case anywhere in Jordan, and a lot of individuals such as the security, the dining hall, and ourselves, have been independently caring for them. However, the cat population has now reached a point where we needed a systemized care, for the cats themselves and for the rest of the community.
TR: What’s the aim of the Fe-Lions?
FL: To keep the cats healthy and safe, to stabilize their population through Trap-Neuter-Return process, and to sensibly and safely share our environment with the wildlife.
TR: Could you tell us more about the Trap-Neuter-Return process?
FL: There is limited space and resources on campus, so to keep a healthy and stable population of cats, we need to control their numbers. In some places, people decide to poison the cats or abandon them far away to starve. The most humane and effective way, however, is neutering, a method of sterilizing animals by removing all or a large part of their reproductive organs. We first trap the cats in the long, humane cages, carry them to the humane center, conduct the surgery, and treat any infections or injuries. Finally, we clip their ears—in a painless way—to identify them and prevent any repeated trapping, which is a stressful process for the cats. Other than its benefits in controlling the population, neutering also makes the cats less aggressive and prevents repetitive pregnancy in female cats, which is detrimental to their health.
TR: What does the project include other than TNR?
FL: We started a feeding program about a couple weeks ago that uses the leftover from school lunch and will ensure that the cats do not starve during breaks. Also, we are building several shelters around campus which will keep the cats fed, warm, and dry; we are just finishing one behind the new dining hall. We also are selling calendars of animals on campus in the admin dukkaneh to raise money for the project; T-shirts are to come soon.
TR: What are the Fe-Lions’ future plans?
FL: We will continue and further develop the TNR, feeding, and sheltering programs we have already started. Also, we are starting a minor co-curricular in the winter term that will teach about animal care and how to run an animal-caring project, raise fund and awareness on campus, and continue and develop the project.
TR: Any words for the readers?
FL: We know that this is a rather new idea in Jordan, but it is important to realize that it is our duty to responsibly and sustainably share our environment. Some may think that it is improper to be helping animals while there are people suffering all around us. However, caring for animals is not in lieu of helping humans, is done at minimal cost, and is a necessary need in our immediate community that must be addressed. If anyone has questions, we are more than happy to discuss them.