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Oklahoma State University

Camuti House

camuti crest

Dr. Louis Camuti, known as “the cat doctor,” was best known for his love and expertise of cats during a time when cats were becoming popular as companion animals. In fact, he was the first veterinarian to devote his entire practice soley to cats. Healing with heart best describes his contribution to veterinary medicine, as he prowled the streets of New York City providing healthcare to cats, and peace of mind to their occasionally demanding – but always grateful – owners.  Dr. Camuti, of Italian decent, was born in 1893 and raised in NYC. He developed a love and respect for cats at an early age.  When recovering from typhoid fever as a child, Dr. Camuti credits his own cat with saving his life during a house fire. Later in life, the cat doctor referred to this life-saving incident as an “epiphany to serve cats as his life mission.” In 1916, Dr. Camuti received his B.S. degree from Cornell University.  He received his veterinary degree from New York University’s Veterinary College in 1920. Dr. Camuti began specializing in cats in 1932 and by the mid 1940s, he began a regular ambulatory practice, as he understood the challenge of transporting a cat to a veterinary clinic in NYC and did not want this to deter cat owners from seeking veterinary care for their companion animal. In addition, Dr. Camuti felt that observing the feline patient in their home environment eased anxiety and permitted better diagnostic evaluation.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Camuti was more the quintessential feline doctor than an academic. He co-authored Park Avenue Vet and All My Patients Are Under The Bed: Memoirs of a Cat Doctor, both insightful and humorous books on his life as a cat veterinarian. He died of a heart attack in 1981 while on his way to see a patient. Dr. Camuti’s daughter said it best when describing the impact her father had on veterinary medicine, “He dignified the feline persona. Until his arrival as a veterinarian, cats were mousers...something of nuisance value, to be replaced when needed, rather than to be loved or cared for. He didn’t want any fame for himself. He wanted dignity for the cat. He saw the cat as a therapeutic creature for shut-ins, lonely people, career people.”

Bobcats are known as a “prowling” feline, much like Dr. Camuti’s role as a veterinarian in NYC. The bobcat is a symbol of intelligence, solitude, strategy and patience.  With their brilliant minds, they are able to come up with plans and ideas that can rarely be beaten. They come up with strategies that help them bring their dreams to life easier.

Orange, the blend of red and yellow, is a mixture of the energy associated with red and the happiness associated with yellow. Similar to Dr. Camuti, the color orange promotes compassion, creativity, success, and fascination.