Calico Castaway Swims Ashore on Island Park


On Sunday night, security guards patrolling the north shore of historic Governors Island spotted an intruder. But they didn’t raise an alarm.

Instead, they came to the rescue.

The intruder was a calico cat, her fur soaking wet, matted, and draped in seaweed.

The staff are still at a loss to figure out how the cat made her way across New York Harbor, against strong currents and tides, and find refuge on the tiny, remote island.

They suspect that the ferocious weekend storm that hit the southeastern US and moved up the coast, bringing drenching rains to New Jersey, may have swept the cat out to sea.

“The assumption is that she came over by water,” said Elizabeth Rapuano, the park’s director of marketing and communications. “She was wet. Her fur was salty.”

“The theory she drifted over on a piece of driftwood is as good as any,” said Leslie Koch, president of the Trust for Governors Island. “It’s a mystery.”

In any case, the sweet calico has won the hearts of the park’s staff, who feed her tuna and canned cat food in her home near the docks of the ferry boats that traverse the harbor from Manhattan to the island.

“She’s a great addition to Governors Island,” Rapuano said of the cat. “It’s certainly a surprise to have her, but a welcome one.”

Although it seems the cat survived her epic journey without any problems, workers are going to take her to a vet in order to be sure she’s okay.

They have also been trying to find out if the sweet calico girl has an owner. “Any information that leads her back to her family is appreciated,” reads a post on the island’s blog site,

The only thing the cat doesn’t have yet is a name. Park officials are encouraging people to submit suggestions by commenting on the Governors Island Blog. From the pool of names — more than 60 so far — staff members will pick their favorite.

“She seems to be adjusting incredibly well,” said Koch. The cat has begun making herself at home in the Governors Island staff offices. “We’ve been giving her a lot of food. We’ve won her friendship.”

“She really enjoys being around people,” said Elizabeth Rapuano, the park’s director of marketing and communications. “She loves being petted.”

If no one comes forward to claim the furry refugee, the staff will continue care for her, and the public will get a chance to meet her when the park opens for the season on May 27.

[Source: New York Daily News]

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