When Faber’s Fascination closed on Labor Day and began moving out, ATZ reported that the arcade was the last tenant of the soon-to-be demolished Henderson Building. Well, one more tenant- a grey cat – was discovered yesterday by a photographer who went there to document the demolition of the Surf Hotel on the building’s second floor. “The cat went under the gate of Shoot Out the Star into the Henderson Building when I came close,” says the anon photographer. A full plate of food and a full cup of water had been placed outside the building, probably by one of the cat lovers who care for Coney Island’s feral, stray and abandoned cat population.
As our regular readers know, ATZ loves a Coney Island cat story, preferably with photos or a video. For “I Love NYC Pets Month” in January, we wrote about the cats who live beneath the ramps to Coney Island’s Boardwalk and within its vacant buildings and an attempted cat rescue. We regularly feature Coney Island cats and kittens up for adoption. Now we seem to have hit upon an unfortunate new theme: cats displaced by redevelopment.
The appearance of the Henderson Building cat amid yesterday’s demolition of the Surf Hotel and the removal of the hotel’s original sign reminded us of our last day at Astroland. We’re not referring to the park’s last day of operation on Sept 7, 2008. We mean Astroland’s very last day, the day the lease expired and the property had to be vacated: January 31, 2009. On that day, we helped rescue a few signs from the water flume for the Coney Island History Project. By then there wasn’t much left of Astroland and we didn’t have the heart to take more than a few photos. One of the pix that we didn’t take: Two stray cats who had long found shelter in Astroland and were displaced by the teardown. As we stood outside the now demolished Feltman’s kitchen –home of the hot dog–and peered in at the original tile floor, the cats paced and waited. An Astroland worker came out and fed the Astro cats their last meal.
For information about feral cats, visit the website of the New York City Feral Cats Initiative, a joint program of two private non-profit organizations–the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and Neighborhood Cats.
Related Posts on ATZ…
September 6, 2010: Cutie & Patootie: Coney Island Kittens Up for Adoption!
January 27, 2010: I Love NYC Pets Month Preview: Coney Island Cat Rescue
July 21, 2009: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Introduces His Sister Targeretty