Volume 22, Number 20 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | September 25 - October 1, 2009
Silkey, right, was reunited with her brothers and sisters this week. Five kittens were born three months ago at the Goldman Sachs construction site and they are all expected to have homes soon.
Reunited & feeling good, last Goldman kitten is rescued
By Julie Shapiro
With hissing, tentative sniffing and finally playful acceptance, four kittens born on the Goldman Sachs construction site reunited with their fifth and final sibling this week.
The three-month-old kittens, nicknamed “the BlackBerries” for the color of their fur, likely have no idea just how many humans they have to thank for staging the reunion.
First there are Rich and Patti Brotman, who trapped the four original kittens last month and have been caring for them in their Gateway Plaza apartment. Then there is an employee at Petropolis, a pet shop on Washington St., who called the Brotmans last Friday after spotting a small black stray in Battery Park City near the Rector St. bridge.
The Brotmans had nearly given up on rescuing the last remaining kitten of the litter, who had thus far avoided capture, so they were thrilled to get the call from Petropolis. Patti Brotman immediately called her friend Esther Regelson, who raced over to the bridge with a wire trap and a can of cat food. Regelson got permission to enter the State Dept. of Transportation’s construction staging area beneath the bridge, where the kitten was spotted. Regelson set the trap and waited.
Almost immediately, the hungry kitten bounded over to the trap, knocked it over, snatched the food and fled. Regelson reset the trap and this time the kitten, less frenzied, walked right in.
“It happened within a half hour, which was so quick, after all this time,” Patti Brotman said this week. “I was so happy you have no idea.”
The Brotmans named the new kitten Silkey, after another important figure in the kittens’ story: the Goldman traffic flagger who fed the mother cat and first discovered the litter in a construction shed on the site earlier this year. That woman goes by the single name of Silkey.
Silkey the kitten weighs less than 3 pounds and is a few weeks behind her siblings in development, but is otherwise healthy. She is also more immediately friendly than most other strays of her age and is already comfortable being touched.
Initially, the Brotmans kept Silkey separate from her siblings, named Pearl, B.B., Buzzy and Chicklet. But on Monday night they allowed all the kittens out of their crates at the same time, giving Silkey her first chance to greet her siblings in over a month. After some initial hissing, Silkey appeared welcomed back into the fold.
“They were playing and she got into playing right away,” Patti Brotman said. “It was amazing…. I think they recognized one another.”
Rich Brotman said the kittens have all grown friendlier since their rescue, and they are ready to be adopted. When Goldman’s corporate office first heard about the kittens, they offered to find homes for them among Goldman employees and to cover the kittens’ medical expenses, an offer they will extend to the fifth kitten, spokesperson Gia Morón said.
Although the Brotmans had not heard back from Goldman Sachs recently, Morón said the firm was still interested in helping to find homes for the kittens and would post another notice on an internal message board soon with the information that the kittens are ready.
The mother cat has been spotted a couple times recently, though the food being left out for her often goes uneaten. Regelson said she was concerned about how the mother would fare over the winter. If Goldman is able to find a family with a farm that could take the mother as a barn cat, Regelson will resume trying to trap her. Regelson and the Brotmans trapped the mother once before but just neutered and released her because she was two feral to make a good house cat.
As the kittens get ready to be adopted, Patti Brotman said she had mixed feelings.
“I hate to see them go,” she said. “But I’m always happy when they get good homes.”