Unsung Heroes #197

Alert “06880” reader Netta Levy writes:

I am not a cat person. However, a black cat warmed its way into all our hearts. And not just my family’s, but our entire Coleytown street.

A few months ago, a black cat came around the neighborhood, every so often. A few weeks ago we saw it more regularly. It meowed, looked for attention and waited for kids at the bus stop. It even had a love interest down the street, named Paws.

Black cat (left) and Paws.

We first posted on Facebook’s Westport Front Porch looking for its rightful owner, but didn’t get much. Some people thought this was a feral black cat who had been seen around town a few years back. But we were not convinced.

Luckily, due to that post, Dorrie Harris found her way to us.

Dorrie volunteers with TAILS. An all-volunteer nonprofit in Westport, they support spaying or neutering of cats and dogs.

Dorrie dropped off food so we could feed the cat, which we called Berry. Every night at dinner we put out food; every night Berry came.

Our family and entire street got involved. Berry started coming more often — mornings, nights, during rain hiding in our planters, playing with my daughter, cozying up to my husband in the yard.

Berry playing with Netta Levy’s daughter …

We knew this cat had a home somewhere. This was not an outdoor cat.

Dorrie tried to trap it without success. Berry was smart and fast, and escaped the trap.

We waited a couple more weeks to do it again. Dorrie had already invested hours making sure Berry (now Blackberry) was ok. She emailed, phoned and visited, to ensure the cat was still coming around and was healthy.

The second trapping attempt yielded no results either. Dorrie sat for an hour, but the cat was a no-show.

As soon as Dorrie left, Blackberry came for dinner.

… and cozying up to her husband. (Photos/Netta Levy)

For the third attempt, Dorrie brought a foolproof, fancy trap. As soon as Blackberry came for the food, Dorrie trapped it.

Next came the important work:  taking the cat to the vet, making sure it was healthy, looking for a microchip and seeing if there an owner somewhere.

Dorrie called me the other day with good news. Luna — a female — did have a microchip. Her owners lived in Stamford.

Luna had gotten out on a rainy night last November. After searching for it unsuccessfully, the owners reported her missing to the microchip company.

Nobody knows how she got from Stamford to Westport, but the ending was happy all around. Luna is now back with her owners, thanks to TAILS and all their work.

We will miss our neighborhood cat. But we are extremely happy that Luna is back with her family, where she belongs.

NOTETAILS is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. With no paid staff, TAILS puts every dollar donated directly to saving animals.

They rely on donations – both monetary, and goods and services – to do what they do. Click here to help.

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)


7 responses to “Unsung Heroes #197

  1. Paws misses Berry! I loved seeing this story and how it all ended well. This was an amazing story. 💙

  2. Nancy Tekesco

    I have adopted from Tails, they are great.

  3. Dorrie is not only an AMAZING volunteer for the kitties at TAILS, but she is also an amazing volunteer for the past 25+ years for the Westport Volunteer EMS. Thank you Dorrie for all you do for the 2 legged and 4 legged residents of Westport!

  4. Cathy Talmadge

    What a wonderful story. So glad to hear an animal story with a happy ending Dorrie and Lisa have helped us trap and fix some feral cats that we feed. The cats are all unusually friendly allowing us to pet them. One that came from the vets decided to run into our house instead of out the door when we brought him home and has been a delightful addition to our family and a pal for our indoor cat. TAILS is a fabulous organization. They are all incredibly dedicated!

  5. Great story.  Westport is fortunate to have caring residents.  So happy too they have a group like WASA (http://www.Facebook.com/westportwasa) that has done so much for the community since forming.   From establishing a WASA-funded spay/neuter program for dogs at Westport Animal Control to funding life-saving surgeries for abandoned dogs in Westport.  Volunteers are at animal control every day to walk and socialize the dogs.  They also assist local and CT residents with safely rehoming dogs when they are unable to continue their care.  Yes, lucky Westport.

  6. Beautiful cat story. They really are so wonderful. Thank you for caring about this beauty. Apparently it is not so unusual for cats to travel that far from home.
    You will miss him.
    (Sorta crazy cat lady)

  7. wonderful story to read…so grateful to Tails….hoping every reader will send what can be spared to Tails…it may be your cat next time.