ASPCA Mission Rooftop Cat Rescue!

Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 4:15pm
close up of striped cat with yellow eyes

Guest blog by Louise Murray, DVM DACVIM, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital and author of “Vet Confidential: An Insider’s Guide to Protecting Your Pet’s Health”

This story begins when Vanessa Jacobs, a licensed veterinary technician at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, spotted a young cat on a rooftop. Vanessa was concerned that the cat was stuck on the roof. She threw food down to the cat, and notified her coworkers at the ASPCA’s Animal Hospital.

Michelle Falcon, the Hospital’s Internal Medicine Department Manager and “cat wrangler extraordinaire,” rushed to the location. Once at the site, Michelle and Vanessa met up with NYC Animal Care & Control Field Supervisor Kevin Sexton, who gained access to a nearby building to survey the roof. But there was no cat to be found.

FDNY climbing up ladderThe assembled group conferred: Perhaps the little cat had climbed down via a nearby tree? But Vanessa was worried–she really felt the cat had been in distress. That’s when the FDNY got involved. Gallant firefighters from the local firehouse used their ladder to climb up to the roof and conduct a thorough search.

A firefighter’s sharp eyes spotted the maiden in distress. She was crouched behind a ledge with big frightened eyes. Her knight in firefighting gear gently lifted her into a carrier and delivered her safely to those waiting below.

Next stop: the ASPCA! The now-safe feline waif was assessed by the medical staff at the ASPCA’s headquarters on 92nd Street in Manhattan.
Dr. Anna Whitehead performed a thorough exam and blood work, and found the kitten to be around six months old, dehydrated and much too thin, with fleas and ear mites, but otherwise healthy. The sweet kitten, thrilled to be in caring hands, purred gratefully. She was treated with intravenous fluids and anti-parasite medications, dewormed, vaccinated, and given plenty of nutritious food. 

After a few days of hydration, square meals, and plenty of pampering, “Vanessa,” as she had been dubbed in honor of the persistent technician who saved her life, was pronounced ready to move to the ASPCA’s Adoption Center and await that special family to start the next chapter of her life! Our guess is that Vanessa has had more than her share of excitement, and will be happy to be a lap kitty for the rest of her days.

Interested in adopting our brave Vanessa? Please call the ASPCA Adoption Center at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120. To make an appointment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, please fill out this form or contact us at (646) 259-4080.

Striped cat standing on bed

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Thank you to Vanessa and Michelle and Kevin and Dr. Whitehead and the wonderful guys from the NYFD who came to the rescue of this adorable, adorable little girl. She is so cute in her pink pillow. "Vanessa" the pussycat will find a perfect home and have a beautiful life. Her purrs are saying, thank you!, thank you!, thank you!


What a babydoll! So glad she was rescued & "fattened" up a bit!

dori lopriore

It gives you back your belief and trust that there are wonderful people who do care for these precious beings....God bless you all who shared in this rescue...She is beautiful....


I love the NYFD. I love the work the ASPCA does too. People like make this challanging city amazing.


Love this story.


Many thanks to all who played a part is rescuing this sweet cat! What a wonderful thing to do! I'm sure "Vanessa" is very grateful, and may she find a new, happy home very soon.

Deborah Ford

Poor baby. She must have been so hungry and scared. Thanks to the brave men and women of the FDNY and the ASPCA and all who helped rescue her and all those who help save animals everyday. Good luck finding a home. I would take you except I have six already. She sure looks cute though in her pink bed.


What a joy it is to know that I have the opportunity to be involved with the ASPCA!!! Even out here today in the SoCal sunshine--there is nothing that warms my heart better than the story of sweet little Vanessa!
My Josey Cat says hi!!

Toni Settle

May God continue to bless such a wonderful organization as the ASPCA. "Kitty" you are indeed one lucky little tabby!


I hate people who injures animals or kill them for no reason at all. People like that should be treated the same way so they know how it feels