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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Everyone has a story: Kateri Anderson

Valentina Martinelli/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Kateri Anderson, originally from Chicago, is an administrative assistant at Arizona Student Media who keeps candy for the Daily Wildcat  staff and takes care of feral cats around the Park Student Union.
Valentina Martinelli/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Kateri Anderson, originally from Chicago, is an administrative assistant at Arizona Student Media who keeps candy for the Daily Wildcat staff and takes care of feral cats around the Park Student Union.

“”Everyone has a story”” is a weekly segment in the Arizona Daily Wildcat that aims to tell the story of an interesting person on the UA campus. This week, the Daily Wildcat interviewed Kateri Anderson, Arizona Student Media administrative assistant.

Keeper of the cats, former nun, designer of quilts and administrative assistant, Kateri Anderson has come a long way from her Chicago roots.

After attending college in Indianapolis, Ind., Anderson began her career as a cashier’s check and savings bond seller at a bank. She then became an auditor and head teller before changing career paths entirely.

“”I went and entered a monastery in Tucson,”” Anderson said. “”Always in the back of my mind, I’ve felt called to do it.””

After being in the monastery for 13 years, Anderson recalls having her own crisis of faith and left.

“”I didn’t have the faith that it took to be there,”” Anderson said. “”I lost my faith in a personal God. It’s like, personal Gods don’t do these kinds of things. I believe in a power, but it doesn’t fit in with all the holiday stuff.””

After leaving the monastery, she worked at a hardware store for five years.

Then she changed jobs again. 

“”I decided I needed to do something else again, so I applied at the university and first got hired at the CatCard Office,”” Anderson said.

As much as Anderson enjoyed working with young people, the CatCard Office was not the right fit for her.

“”Every kid there had a problem, and you only heard the problems,”” Anderson said. “”Some of them didn’t care if they lost their CatCard because their parents would pay for it, and others would stand and fight, so I came over to Arizona Student Media in June 2003.””

Anderson describes the Daily Wildcat office as a “”small business run by kids.””

“”It’s nice here because you have people in journalism who want to be journalists or writers, so they really care about what they’re doing,”” Anderson said.

Anderson, who doesn’t have any children of her own, keeps a candy bowl in her office for student media employees. She also likes to watch students go through the ranks.

“”I can remember (editor in chief) Lance Madden coming in here as a sports reporter, his first summer as an editor in chief, and then watching him become editor in chief for a semester and doing well,”” Anderson said. “”There’s something really nice about watching the kids here grow.””

When Anderson is not taking care of the Daily Wildcat payroll, among other work duties, she attends to and feeds the cats that roam around the Park Student Union and Daily Wildcat offices.

“”I have my own community of feral cats out there,”” Anderson said. “”One of them sits and meows at the door for me, and I bring her food.””

During her time at the monastery, Anderson had another set of feral cats that gravitated toward her.

“”In the evenings, I’d go outside and read, and the cats would come over. I could touch and hold them. No one else could touch them, but I think it says a lot when an animal is that afraid of people and is willing to come to you, it’s a real gift,”” she said. 

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