March 10, 2010
by Jamie Santiago | Staff Writer
Although the Kitty Committee has been an on-campus organization since 2003, most students and faculty members don’t know of its existence or what the cause of this organization is all about. Holly Kivlin is an admissions and records clerk at City College and the woman behind the nonprofit Kitty Committee. Back in 2003, Kivlin formed the committee to regulate the feral cat population and help care for them.
“Different students and staff were feeding them over the years and a complaint was made that the cats were peeing in one of the team’s locker rooms,” says Kivlin.
So she decided to do something about it. Before the committee started, Kivlin was trapping and feeding the feral cats on campus and later found journalism professor Janis Haag at the opposite end of the campus taking similar measures to help the feral cats. Both women joined up and presented a plan to the administration that would monitor the population of cats while also keeping the campus cats healthy and happy.
“You know, if you have a hundred kittens running around campus and they’re dying, and people always say, ‘What are we going to do about it? Someone should do something about it. And so I decided to take that on,” Kivlin says.
Haag helps care for the feral cats alongside Kivlin and thinks the work of the committee is important.
“Holly Kivlin is the reason that the feral cat population at City College is under such good control that these cats are well taken care of for their lives…there are far fewer of them than there were years ago…,” Haag says. “I am one small part of this committee. Holly is the heart and soul of the committee quite honestly.”
Cat lover and child development major Enid Olwell supports the cause of the Kitty Committee and believes the feral cats, along with other unwanted animals, need to be properly cared for.
Kivlin says that although most people who do cat rescues seem to be women, she thinks it’s important for both women and men to be helping the community in any way.
“Whether it’s helping children or animals that are suffering or the environment, I think everybody whether, they’re man or woman, should make some contribution to their community.”
The Kitty Committee gladly accepts donations and help from student volunteers.