City College Times

SJCC’s paw-some neighbor

San Jose City College’s mascot may be a Jaguar, but its pet is a kitty-cat named Socks

Socks+being+photographed+by+Prof.+Raymond+Brennan+at+SJCC+campus+after+being+fed.+%0ASocks+has+been+living+on+campus+for+14+years.+Professor+Brennan+has+been+taking+care+of+her+for+most+of+that+time.+
Socks being photographed by Prof. Raymond Brennan at SJCC campus after being fed. 
Socks has been living on campus for 14 years. Professor Brennan has been taking care of her for most of that time.

Socks being photographed by Prof. Raymond Brennan at SJCC campus after being fed. Socks has been living on campus for 14 years. Professor Brennan has been taking care of her for most of that time.

Raymond Brennan, English Professor

Raymond Brennan, English Professor

Socks being photographed by Prof. Raymond Brennan at SJCC campus after being fed. Socks has been living on campus for 14 years. Professor Brennan has been taking care of her for most of that time.

Brissa Molina, Times Staff

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It might not be well-known to students on campus that for almost 14 years, SJCC has been shelter to a little black cat with white paws named Socks.

Since she was a kitten, Socks has found comfort in staying on campus; perhaps it is because, with the exception of a few, students and staff on campus rarely stop to realize she’s there.

English Professor Raymond Brennan has been in charge of Socks’ welfare for the last 14 years.

“When I first saw Socks, it was after an evening class in the fall of 2004, and as it happened, it was a cold, rainy evening,” Brennan wrote in an email. “I wondered what such a little kitten was doing on its own in that kind of weather.”

Brennan decided to care for the kitten, and has been providing for her since.

“The next day, I brought some food and put it in a bowl in the bushes that used to be in front of the theater building, which is where I had first seen her,” he wrote.

When hungry, Socks visits the feeding station Brennan has set up for her.

“Where she is fed is not something that should be publicized, but I can tell you that her feeding station has been moved several times over the years due to construction and landscaping changes,” he wrote.

Brennan also shares his interest in Socks’ well-being with a former SJCC student Herman Ybarra, who even years after leaving SJCC, has made sure Socks has food everyday.

“For several years now, Herman — even after he was no longer a student — and I have shared the responsibility of being sure Socks has food and water each day. Each of us feeds Socks a few days each week, and the other person covers the other days,” he wrote.

Regarding Socks’ personality, Brennan wrote that she is very cautious around campus.

“I think Socks’ defining quality is her caution. She knows she is more safe on campus than off,” Brennan wrote.

Socks not only likes to wander around campus, sometimes she likes to sojourn in areas outside of campus, to which Brennan is already used to. Nevertheless, Socks considers SJCC’s campus her “purr-manent” residence.

“She has disappeared for as long as six weeks at a time in the past,” Brennan wrote. “So far she has always returned to campus where I think she spends most of her time because she knows it is safe here.”

“Socks knows me — and knows my car — which is proven because some evenings after a class, she will be sitting under my car hoping for a treat,” he wrote.

Even though Socks has been on campus for more than a decade, only few people know about her existence and only a handful know about her whereabouts.

“As far as I know,” Brennan wrote, “ the only three people Socks trusts enough to reveal her whereabouts to if called are myself, Herman and my wife, Carina who shares my interest in Socks’ welfare.”

Many students at SJCC were surprised to find out about Socks. They believe it is good to raise awareness about some of the animal life that resides on campus; whether it is wild or domestic.

Student Alexis Villalpando was thrilled to hear about her.

“We have a cat on campus?,” he said, “That’s awesome, it gives the school a different vibe, it makes me feel better.”

“I’m worried that she doesn’t have a permanent home, and that an evildoer could eventually abuse her,” transfer student Quinn Morillo said, “but I think that it’s a neat quirk of the campus.”

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SJCC’s paw-some neighbor