Update–April 18, 2018: Miracle Thrives in Her Outdoor Home
Remember the story of Miracle, the tiny cat who was rescued from a busy Atlantic City highway in January by an Alley Cat Allies staff member who just happened to be driving by? The young tortoiseshell now has a new outdoor home and she is thriving!
One of our Atlantic City Boardwalk Cats Project volunteers was thrilled to offer the adorable cat, who we aptly named Miracle, a home on his property after Alley Cat Allies staff determined she is feral and not socialized to people.
Generally, it is in community cats’ best interests to return them to the location where they lived, because cats are bonded with their colonies and home territory. Only as a last resort should community cats be relocated, such as when they are in imminent danger.
For Mike Muchler and his family, giving Miracle an outdoor home on their property in Galloway Township, New Jersey, was an ideal situation. Muchler volunteers for Alley Cat Allies, feeding various colonies and transporting cats to the veterinarian as needed. But because his 13-year-old daughter and his wife are highly allergic to cats, he can only care for outdoor cats. When he heard that Miracle needed to live outdoors, “that made it a no brainer,” he says.
“This situation worked out for everyone involved in so many ways,” says Heather Fagan, Alley Cat Allies’ program manager for New Jersey operations. “We’re happy knowing that Miracle has a good home outdoors where she will be cared for.”
Alley Cat Allies staff members built Miracle an outdoor enclosure that provides protection from rain and wind, where she will stay for a few weeks to get acclimated to her new territory. Then she will have free reign of the property.
Muchler says that his family has enjoyed having Miracle around and would consider providing an outdoor home for another cat to keep her company, if needed.
“Despite my daughter’s allergy,” he says, “she’ll always be out here checking on [Miracle].”
And, they have no plans to change Miracle’s name, he says. After all, it’s part of her story.
The young tortoiseshell was on the median of a busy six-lane causeway in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Saturday, as stretches of cars and buses zoomed by. Kim Kean, the Atlantic City program manager at Alley Cat Allies, just happened to be driving by on this frigid afternoon, with below-freezing temperatures, when she spotted the cat.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “Normally, I’m really calm, but I was in a panic watching this cat sit there, and watching the buses go by.”
Kean says she was unable to stop in the hectic traffic. She had to continue driving for about two miles until she was able to turn around and get back to the cat.
“I was thinking the worst, that this cat already jumped off the median and was gone,” she says.
Thankfully, the cat was still there. But Kean knew she couldn’t save the cat on her own. Cars and buses were speeding by on either side. She needed help from police to stop traffic and safely rescue the animal.
She called the Atlantic City Police Department, but while she was waiting for officers to arrive, she had a better idea: She called Cindy Rongione, an animal-loving police officer who has worked with Alley Cat Allies through the Atlantic City Boardwalk Cats Project for years.
Rongione showed up a few minutes later. With help from her partner and Kean, she stopped traffic in both directions and scooped up the little tortie with a net.
Kean took the cat to a veterinarian. She was scared, but had no injuries. The veterinarian determined that although the cat weighed only 3 pounds, she was about 6 months old. The veterinarian thought the cat was so cute that she decided to foster her!
Kean was glad that she ended up in the right place at the right time to save the cat. Alley Cat Allies is extremely thankful to Rongione, her partner, and the Atlantic City Police Department for helping us in this rescue.
No one knows how the cat got on the bridge in the first place. She may have been left there. But now she’s on track to a happy life, and we gave her a fitting name to show for it—Miracle.