Beneath the ramps to Coney Island’s Boardwalk and within its vacant buildings, feral, stray and abandoned cats find shelter. The cats are regularly fed and looked after by a contingent of Coney Island cat lovers. They have been photographed by residents and tourists alike. Devin Sturdy, a tourist from Melbourne, Australia, was visiting Coney Island in December when he happened to see a man feeding a dozen cats and trying to rescue a sick one. When we found Devin’s video on YouTube the other day, we were reminded just how many cats are up for adoption by animal rescue groups. There are currently 162,407 cats, seeking a “forever home,” or even a foster home, on Petfinder.com. Take a look at their photos and read their bios. Make room for them in your hearts and give them homes. February will be “I Love NYC Pets” month, a citywide pet adoption celebration sponsored by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals. Their slogan is “Will You Be My Furry Valentine?”
When ATZ contacted videographer Devin Sturdy in Australia, he said he’d always been fascinated by Coney Island and “it seemed more appealing to me in winter, quiet and spooky.” Here’s what he told us about the Coney Island cat rescue:
Shortly after disembarking the subway train, I noticed a man feeding cats, not just one or two, but tens of cats. I asked him what he was doing. He was from New Jersey and worked as a volunteer for an organisation that helps animals. He had driven to Coney Island to pick up a specific cat that a friend had told him about. It had been recently abandoned and it had been seen in the area.
Because the cat was not feral, and relatively housebound, he thought it was not necessary to bring a cage with him. However, upon arrival, he noticed another cat that had a sore on its face. He thought it may be a tumor and was concerned about its welfare and wanted to take it to a friend of his who is a vet.
He slowly fed the cat for more than half an hour in an attempt to coax the cat into the car. Finally, after gaining enough trust to be able to touch the cat, he grabbed it by the scruff of its neck. He said that feral cats either immediately relax in a closed environment or go nuts. As you can see from the video, this cat was not comfortable.
I stopped filming because I was concerned that the cat was going to hurt itself. I can tell you that the man opened the door shortly afterward (a couple of seconds) and the cat calmly stepped out of the car and wandered off. He told me that he would return later that day with a cage and attempt to find the cat.
I am a bit of an advocate of adopting stray pets. We rescued our cat Kitty (original name!) from the streets and she lived to be seventeen years old!
We understand completely, Devin. After our own beloved 13-year-old cat went to cat heaven, we find ourselves spending a lot of time “just looking” at photos on Petfinder. By February we’ll be ready to adopt or foster a cat or two.
Here’s a calendar of animal adoption events in New York City and a list of animal rescue groups grouped by borough. If you can’t adopt a pet, please consider helping out these organizations by volunteering or making a donation to support their work. Me-ow.
Related posts on ATZ…
January 26, 2011: Photo of the Day: Henderson Music Hall Cats Now Homeless
September 6, 2010: Cutie & Patootie: Coney Island Kittens Up for Adoption!
September 9, 2009: More Genuine Coney Island Kittens Up for Adoption!