Three-Week-Old Lucky Is Rescued by a Staten Island Judge after She Is Tossed Out the Window of a Pickup Truck on Hylan Boulevard
"I saw his whole extended arm. He opened his palm and, plop, out drops what looks like a furry dishtowel. He dropped this thing out of his pickup truck like he was dropping a napkin on a sidewalk."
-- Judge Catherine DiDomenico
Cat abuse is every bit as old as body odor and incest and it does not smell any better than either of them. They are shot with bows and arrows as well as guns, purposefully poisoned with antifreeze and injected with deadly diseases in the august name of science, drowned in rivers and bathtubs, and everything imaginable in between.
As odious as all of those feline eradication methods are, it nevertheless takes an especially wicked individual to dispose of cats and kittens by tossing them out the window of a speeding automobile on a busy highway. The latest such outrage of this genre occurred at around 8:45 a.m. on June 12th when an unidentified white male at the wheel of a burgundy-colored pickup truck tossed a three-week-old gray, white, and black female kitten into rush hour traffic on Hylan Boulevard in the Great Kills section of Staten Island.
Fortunately for the defenseless kitten, Catherine DiDomenico, a Family Court judge in Stapleton, was traveling behind the pickup and witnessed what happened. Ignoring the protests of the irate commuters behind her, she immediately pulled over and positioned her automobile over the frightened kitten so as to shield it from the oncoming traffic.
"I saw his whole extended arm. He opened his palm and, plop, out drops what looks like a furry dishtowel," she later recalled for the Staten Island Advance on June 13th. (See "One Down, Eight to Go for 'Lucky' Kitten.") "He dropped this thing out of his pickup truck like he was dropping a napkin on a sidewalk."
Although she now was protected from the traffic, the tiny kitten was not out of the woods just yet because in her fright she had somehow gotten entangled in one of the wheel wells of the judge's car. Getting her out of that jam took no less than two and one-half hours and required the assistance of no fewer than two off-duty police officers and a five-man Emergency Service Unit (ESU) team.
Off-duty cops Alisha Noel and Amir Zadok of the South Shore's One-Hundred-Twenty-Third Precinct were the first on the scene. They were soon joined by ESU Sergeant Anthony Lisi, detectives Joseph Delre, Robert Brager, and Michael Driscoll, as well as Captain Mark C. Molinari of the North Shore's One-Hundred-Twentieth Precinct.
Thanks to their expertise, professionalism and, above all, compassion, the kitten was successfully removed from the wheel well without so much as a scratch on her tiny body. Because of her good fortune in cheating the Grim Reaper out of his bounty, DiDomenico christened the kitten Lucky.
Since she already has three dogs at home, DiDomenico was unable to adopt Lucky and at last report she was still at Animal Care and Control in Charleston awaiting adoption. (See photo above.)
Lucky thus joins the ranks of an orange cat named Freeway from Stuart, Florida, a black cat also named Lucky from Tirol, and an unnamed cat from Houston who were fortunate to survive being abandoned on, respectively, an interstate highway, inside an Alpine tunnel, and on a busy downtown overpass. (See Cat Defender posts of January 14, 2008, August 14, 2006, and February 21, 2009 entitled, respectively, "Freeway Miraculously Survives Being Tossed Out the Window of a Truck on Busy I-95 in South Florida," "Austrian Officials Close Busy Alpine Tunnel in Order to Rescue Kitten Cruelly Abandoned by a Motorist" and "Daring Rescue in the Sky Spares the Life of a Cat Dumped on an Overpass in Houston.")
For every successful highway rescue there at least a thousand unsuccessful ones. If the initial impact with the roadway does not kill the cat, it is usually run down and killed by a motorist either in too much of a hurry in order to brake or just for the fun of it.
Other cats crawl away only to die prolonged deaths either from their injuries, starvation, or predation. (See Cat Defender post of August 28, 2008 entitled "In Memoriam: Trooper Survives Being Thrown from a Speeding Automobile Only to Later Die on the Operating Table.")
"It was such an outrage, with all the safety drop-off outlets and possibilities available to someone who is not in a position to own an animal, that a person would resort to this kind of brutality," DiDomenico told the Staten Island Advance in the article cited supra.
It is a real shame that she chose family as opposed to criminal law as her specialty because cats and other animals could sure use someone like her on the bench. In a courtroom presided over by her it is highly unlikely that any of these cretins who get such a kick out of abusing cats would be laughing for very long after she got through with them. (See Cat Defender posts of May 14, 2009 and November 24, 2008 entitled, respectively, "Virginia Is for Cat Killers, Not Lovers, Now That Its Legal Establishment Has Sanctioned Donald Curtis Hunt's Drowning of Five Kittens" and "Kilo's Killer Walks in a Lark but the Joke Is on the Disgraceful English Judicial System.")
As dismal and depressing as feline abandonment is in all of its numerous manifestations, the good news is that there are caring individuals such as Judge DiDomenico and the uniformed services of New York City who, now and again, are able to make a huge difference in curbing this spiraling cycle of violence. Because of their compassion, Lucky now has a chance to not only grow into an adult cat but, hopefully, to have a long and happy life as well.