THROGS NECK, the Bronx — A good samaritan rescued a cat from the Hutchinson River Parkway Thursday night when he saw the cat was stuck between the center divider and the left lane, and had no room to escape.
Joseph Vizzielli told PIX11 he was driving southbound on the parkway when he spotted the cat “huddled” against the center divider and edging alongside the left lane where vehicles were flying by underneath the Lafayette Avenue overpass.
The cat is currently resting and recovering thanks to Vizzielli’s rescue efforts.
“I wasn’t certain if it was a live cat, but managed to make out the features of a black and white tuxedo cat face,” Vizzielli said.
He got off at the next exit, turned around and headed north, and then got back on the parkway to pass by the cat once again, to make sure it was indeed a cat that needed help. He continued to circle around and drive back under the overpass, but said it was too dangerous for him to stop and safely rescue the cat. The cat had been slowly edging along the barrier, as its position kept changing.
First, Vizzielli went to the Port Authority office at the toll plaza nearby and told officers about the cat’s whereabouts. They suggested he call 311 since the area was out of their jurisdiction, but Vizzielli said he remembered seeing NYPD highway patrol at Exit 2.
He found those officers, who told him they had received a call about the cat but couldn’t locate it. They offered to escort Vizzielli, who does volunteer animal rescue work, to the cat’s location.
The officers turned their lights on, allowing Vizzielli to stop and scoop the cat up and put her into a pet carrier, he said.
“As I reached for it, I knew I had to do it fast because this was a scared cat in the middle of a busy highway,” Vizzielli said. “It could have easily run off into traffic and ended badly, perhaps even causing an accident if it ran into speeding cars.”
He took the cat to the vet, and the vet found that she had cuts on her legs and a bite mark, Vizzielli said. The cuts seemed to have come from the impact of a car and the bite mark seemed to have been left by another animal. They assumed the cat had been chased by another animal and gotten stuck on the parkway.
Vizzielli said the cat is weak, but resting, and they’re hoping she makes a full recovery so they can adopt her to a loving family.