The boss kitty Jefe battles birds and lizards and presides over the “dungeon” of the Dixie State University baseball field.
Jefe, pronounced “heffy,” which means boss in Spanish, is the feline that runs the show on the DSU baseball field, DSU head baseball coach Chris Pfatenhauer said. Jefe sleeps in the storage area, which is usually referred to as the “dungeon.”
He is rumored to be between five to 10 years old, but nobody knows for sure, said Tanner Morache, a junior integrated studies major from Surrey, British Columbia.
Players on the team are not sure how Jefe arrived at the DSU baseball field.
At one point, he was taken by a past assistant coach a few miles away to be a house cat, but two days later, he returned back to the field.
“He obviously likes it here,” Pfatenhauer said.
Morache explained that everyone bands together to make sure that Jefe has wet and dry food and water every day. DSU assistant baseball coach Ian Peterson said that they brush Jefe, too.
“[Jefe is] very friendly,” Morache said. “He is the only cat I have ever liked.”
One day the team watched Jefe destroy a lizard. Jefe caught the lizard as it ran across the ground, Morache said
“The tail was hanging out of [Jefe’s] mouth,” Morache said.
Pfatenhauer said Jefe knows when to hide out if the team is on the field and when it is a good time to come out to say hello.
Recently, Jefe was injured and had to visit the vet. The team was concerned that Jefe wouldn’t make it, but he is fine now, Pfatenhauer said.
A local vet picked Jefe up and returned him after caring for him for about 36 hours, Pfatenhauer said.
“We think he [caught] a … bird that was a little bigger than he could handle … and he had a pretty big gouge behind his ear [from the bird],” Pfatenhauer said.
The cat use to be called Jeffy, but his name has evolved to Jefe, signifying his status as “boss” of the field, Pfatenhauer said. Some of the players still call him Jeffy, though.
“He is a part of the culture of our team, ” Pfatenhauer said.