Three cats who went missing following the Second Avenue explosion have been reunited with their owners.
The cats lived at 125 Second Ave., a building badly damaged but still standing after last week’s apparent gas explosion in the East Village.
Kathleen Blomberg said she was reunited with her two cats, Sebastian and Kitty Cordelia, by the ASPCA on Tuesday night. Blomberg said she was staying at a friend’s on St. Mark’s Place, and ran down the block when she got the good news to see her cats in cages, being escorted out of the barricaded blocks with the flashing lights of a police escort.
“I couldn’t be more overjoyed,” Blomberg said. “I’m just overwhelmed, about everything.”
Blomberg said her apartment, on the top floor of the seven-floor walk-up, was badly damaged by the fire. Blomberg and other residents said firefighters broke down the doors of apartments looking for people last Thursday, and windows were broken as well, causing many animals to escape.
Sebastian and Kitty Cordelia were found under the bed in Blomberg’s apartment, and it took the ASPCA a while to coax them out.
“I got my babies back last night,” Blomberg said.
Yvonne Collery, who also lived at 125 Second Ave., said she was reunited with her tabby, named Laszlo, by firefighters on Monday. Her 7-pound tortoise shell named Lulu is still missing.
Collery said firefighters were using her apartment as a command post, because it was strategically located over the rubble of neighboring buildings. They later found Lazlo hiding in her closet, put him in his carrier and took him to Collery.
“You can’t imagine what he saw, the building come down, the windows blown out. He is a brave, brave little cat,” Collery said.
Allison Cardona, senior director of the ASPCA’s Cruelty Intervention Advocacy, said her group has been working with city Animal Control, Office of Emergency Management and the NYPD to set traps for the remaining five missing cats at 121 Second Ave.
In addition to Blomberg’s cats, Cardona said two turtles and fish have been rescued from the building and put into foster care until their owners find stable housing.
“When people have lost everything, it’s really heartwarming to see how much it means to them to be reunited,” Cardona said.