Student life can be exhausting. Between running from class to class, studying for exams and trying not to burn down your apartment while cooking, it is easy to feel drained and stressed. But being at UC Davis makes this a whole lot more manageable, as I can always find a fuzzy friend to help me feel better. Whether it is sunbathing with one of the physics building’s cats or hearing stories from my friends at the Goat Barn, the animals of UC Davis are always there to put a smile on my face.
Cheeto the Cat
This lovely orange kitty cat has become a fixture of both the campus, and the Davis community as a whole. Prowling onto campus around 2011, Cheeto was quickly adopted by the physics department, who lavish him with food and love. Cheeto loves to wander around the surrounding area, and is often spotted taking cat naps with students during midterms. While Cheeto is a sweetheart, the physics department urges students to not feed him, as at one point, he was close to becoming unhealthily overweight.
The Real G.O.A.T.’s of Campus
As the number one school for veterinary medicine, there are so many different on-campus facilities for students to get hands-on experience with animals. Filled with 100+ adorable goats, the UC Davis Goat Barn is a great resource for students to learn more about the animals, including how to birth kids (baby goats), milk them, and how to best care for them. Students working at the Barn love working with the animals and getting to know all of their personalities. In the future, students may be able to buy milk and cheese produced by the Goat Barn!
Football MVP, Cori
Right before each home football game, the crowd watches in awe as our kick-off tee is retrieved by our intrepid tee dog. The tradition began in 2012 with Pint, a fellow retriever who returned 284 tees throughout the course of his career. Retiring after a long career, Pint has passed the torch onto Cori. Cori is a three-year-old Labrador retriever with a big heart and an even bigger smile. Between attending football practices and cheering on the team at big games, Cori is the Aggie’s biggest cheerleader. On her off days, Cori enjoys playing with other dogs and hanging out at home. Next time you go to a football game, see if you can spot her on the sidelines!
Our Udderly Adorable Cows
For all first-years at UC Davis, going to meet the cows is a necessary rite of passage. In my first year, my roommate and I went over and spent over an hour looking at and taking pictures of them, marveling at how sweet they were. These 105 bovines live at the UC Davis Dairy Teaching and Research Facility, where they are doted on and monitored by student interns, dairy managers, and research faculty. Here, students who are interested in veterinary medicine or agriculture can gain hands-on experience working with the cows, learning about animal handling, reproduction, and spending time with these big-eyed beauties.
Finals season is stressful to say the least. The papers and exams are mounting, you have three group projects, and you are trying to pack up your space. Luckily, Student Health and Counseling Services has some fluffy friends to help you take some self-care time and de-stress. These therapy dogs are available for students to pet and cuddle with during this stressful time. The dogs are therapy certified, which means that they know exactly how to best comfort people, even with multiple people around. When writing papers and doing work gets to be too much, these sweet dogs have been the best at helping me relax and get my head back in shape.
In addition to our domesticated friends, there are all kinds of free-roaming animals around campus. One of my favorite ways to destress after class is to sit in the Quad and squirrel-gaze. Our abnormally fluffy squirrels are always playing and chasing after one another, running from tree to tree. Or head on over to the Arboretum, where you can sit by the lake and watch the serene ducks float by. However, it is very important that you do not feed them, as human food is bad for them.
Animals are a core part of UC Davis life. Whether you want to learn how to take care of them, or just spend time with them, UC Davis is the perfect place for anyone who wants to make some fuzzy friends.