While the Cat’s Away

Big Boy, the unofficial campus cat, follows the stay-at-home order

With most UC Santa Barbara employees now working remotely in accordance with California’s stay-at-home order, beloved campus feline Big Boy is following suit. He is currently enjoying the luxurious life of an indoor pet while on an extended stay at the home of his “person of record,” Katie Title. “I didn’t realize he was such a domestic cat,” she said, “but he is dominating the house and napping on my bed all day.” 

His daily routine consists of scheduled feedings, occasional nuzzles with Title’s dog, and a lot of sleeping. In fact, Big Boy likes being inside so much that his care team is considering retiring him from his duties as a cuddly community companion. “In the past few months, we have discovered that he has a few chronic age-related health issues,” Title explained. “But I know he brings so much joy to people on campus. It’s hard to be the one who has to decide if he should be at home permanently.”

Title, in consultation with Big Boy’s other regular caregivers, is considering a few different options for the cat once campus life returns to normal, including partial retirement and occasional visits to his courtyard home so he can greet his many admirers. One thing about his future is certain: he will always have a steadfast human companion. “I’ve always been a subscriber of, once you have an animal, it’s your animal forever. I’m here and I’ll be a stable resource for him,” Title said, adding, “He has been so loved. I feel honored to be famous by association.”

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