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BRONX TIMES REPORTER,BTR AUG. 13-19, 2021 45
A cat runs onto the fi eld during the eighth inning of the New York Yankees game against the
Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 2, 2021.
Photo courtesy Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports
Not so purrfect:
to Yankees cat
BY ALIYA SCHNEIDER
Yankee Stadium crewmen chased a
cat along the fi eld at the Yankees-Orioles
game on Aug. 2, and cat experts
say the situation could have been handled
With the Yankees getting drubbed
7-1 that night, the loudest roar from the
stadium could be heard when a feline
made its way onto the baseball diamond.
But a large stadium surrounded
by thousands of cheering people isn’t
the ideal spot for a cat, it turns out.
The cat was spotted trotting along
the fi eld during the eighth inning before
running into left centerfi eld with a
speed that made scouts turn their heads.
“Look at this thing go, this is faster
than anyone on the Yankees,” announcer
Kevin Brown said on the Orioles’
The crowd cheered, chanting “MVP,”
as the terrifi ed creature seemed frantic
to search for an exit.
“I feel a mixture right now of
amused and sad,” Brown said. “Somebody’s
gotta get the cat. Just let him
into the bullpen.”
“Sarah Hollars, community cats
coordinator for Animal Care Center
of NYC, said, “Chasing a scared cat is
never a good idea.”
But that’s exactly what the grounds
crew did. They chased the cat after failing
to surround the creature. The cat
ended up jumping onto the inside of the
fencing, where it ran along the perimeter
of the fi eld, even trying to jump over
Personnel standing right behind the
bullpen door didn’t open it with when
the frazzled feline was nearby, missing
a potential exit from the fi eld on two different
occassions. Finally, a door was
opened to the stands down the thirdbase
line and the creature escaped.
Orioles outfi elder Cedric Mullins
said he saw the cat in the dugout earlier
in the game and let it be, according to
Directing the cat to a stadium exit
or opening a door to a smaller space
where a rescue professional could retrieve
the cat would have been the best
way to handle the situation, said Elyise
Hallenbeck, director of Strategy for
Bideawee Animal Rescue’s Leadership
Giving & Feral Cat Initiative.
“They should be grateful that they
weren’t able to lay hands on it, because
the cat would have won that,” Hallenbeck
added. “The cat was severely and
terribly, terribly, frightened.”
Hallenbeck and Kellye Pinkleton,
director of Public Policy for Companion
Animals at The Humane Society of
the U.S., both acknowledged that the
stadium workers aren’t equipped to
handle a cat on the loose.
As for how the cat made its way into
Yankee Stadium, Hallenbeck couldn’t
tell from the viral video whether the
cat was a lost pet, feral or friendly.
Pinkleton guessed the cat was a stray.
Hallenbeck reached out to nearby
community cat caretakers and has not
heard about the celebrity cat’s whereabouts.
Caretakers look over feral cat colonies
in the city, making sure local
strays are neutered, fed and given
medical care and warmth during the
winter while still living together outdoors.
There are 484 stray colonies in the
Bronx registered with the Bideawee
rescue, with an average size of 25 cats.
There are at least 12,000 stray cats being
cared for by certifi ed volunteers in
the borough, and many more not registered
with the rescue, Hallenbeck
MLB did not respond to multiple requests
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