The Oakland A’s return to the Bay Area for their 2022 home opener on April 18, but somebody else is playing on their field in the meantime.
The Coliseum has been invaded by feral cats.
The information comes from the minutes of an upcoming meeting by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, shared by Casey Pratt of ABC7. Item 6 of the agenda is “Reports,” and the third point on that list reads “Cats Invasion.”
More details on the Cats Invasion:
“Feral cats have multiplied since the corona virus and the kittens are running wild. The good news is the rat population has decreased substantially. The bad news is the cats are now gaining access to the inside of the Arena and are having a field day on the A’s turf, causing a nuisance. We have requested assistance from the City’s Animal Control department and are trying to devise a plan to humanely relocate them and maybe trying an adoption strategy with some of our patrons. In the meantime, we need to make sure we reduce their steady food supply by keeping our dumpsters well secured.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time wildlife has made its way into a ballpark, whether here or elsewhere. A’s fans will remember the Rally Possum from several years ago, and other MLB cities have seen their share of squirrels and other critters.
Some good has even come of it in the past. During a 1990 game at the Coliseum, then-Oakland manager Tony La Russa rescued a cat that had run across the field and into the A’s dugout. He and his wife Elaine La Russa were inspired by their experience with Evie the Cat and launched the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), which is now a highly rated national non-profit charity.
In the meantime, it’s another odd headline for a stadium that’s had plenty of them, though at least this one sounds better than a sewage leak in the dugout. And again, the rat population has decreased substantially, so there’s that. Perhaps a Dogs Invasion could chase off the cats?
July 24 vs. TEX: Feral cat giveaway day, first 1,000 fans. No returns.— newballpark (@newballpark) April 11, 2022
No photos are available of the trespassing felines, but here is an artist’s interpretation of what they might look like playing on Rickey Henderson Field right meow:
Presumably they’ll have to move up to the stands once the A’s return home next week, at which point they might look more like this:
Whatever happens, Athletics Nation wishes the best to all cats involved, and also to all the humans who have to deal with clearing out those cats and finding homes for them.
In conclusion, let’s take this relevant opportunity to enjoy my favorite baseball highlight of all time.