Search on in Biting Jersey Cold for Deceased Woman’s Cat


Just after sunrise on Saturday, Bridgeton NJ Councilwoman Gladys Lugardo-Hemple received her first phone call concerning Linda Gaskills two cats.

Gaskill, who passed away last week from breast cancer, left behind Mittens and Lucky. Unfortunately, circumstances had forced Gaskill to leave the cats outside in the biting cold.

Gaskill had been evicted from her Bridgeton apartment this summer for hoarding. Her two cats left with her. They had come to her as strays years ago, and she took them in, caring for them in her apartment.

After her eviction, she was granted a temporary stay at the Cohansey Hotel but the cats were forbidden to come with her. She fed them outdoors daily at a spot nearby.

Lugardo-Hemple and Carol Kirshenbaum, director of Quacks Corner, hit the streets Saturday and Sunday in search of the feline duo.

Through some legwork, they found out Linda had moved her cats food bowls from behind the Cohansey Hotel to behind the Bethany Presbyterian Church.

They left some food at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and the cats had returned two hours later. They darted away and Kirshenbaum could not trap them.

The same happened Sunday, but yesterday Kirshenbaum trapped Mittens successfully.

Mittens is now at Quacks Corner. Kirshenbaum said she has seen cats in worse condition, and she’s hopeful that Mittens will recover.

Lucky is still out there somewhere.

Kirshenbaum continues to head out daily with hopes of completing the mission successfully. Let’s hope Lucky lives up to his name.

The weather has been brutal, with overnight lows feeling like they barely break double-digits. Such conditions prompt “Code Blues” in urban areas, in which homeless humans are invited indoors and provided with a warm, dry place to sleep.

There are no “Code Blues” for animals who belong to the homeless, or stray animals. Linda Gaskill’s cats are suffering because of unbending rules and regulations.

Donations of cat food will be accepted to continue to leave out for Lucky, and to feed Mittens. Monetary donations for the Cumberland County SPCA will also be accepted.

If anyone has any information about the whereabouts of Lucky or knows where Gaskill fed the cats, contact either Lugardo-Hemple at (856) 297-7523, Quack’s Corner at (856) 462-3402 or animal control at (856) 451-0033 ext. 2053.

What strikes me more is to know that no matter how the economy is, people are willing to help. Thanks to all the animal lovers out there who stick with me during this, said Lugardo-Hemple.


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