Jaime Angelo and Michelle Antico did Pelham Bay proud on Monday, July 13, when they rescued a cat from the wall of an apartment building. Angelo, 12, and Antico, 12, were en route to a babysitting appointment when they spotted a gray and white cat trapped on the second story molding of 2860 Buhre Avenue. The girls demanded that mom Laura Angelo pull her car over.
“Ma, we have to go back! The cat is going to die!” Angelo the daughter begged.
Angelo and Antico attempted to coax the cat down. They guessed that it’d reached the molding via a half-open screen window. When a young man found a ladder and started to climb, the scaredy cat hissed and yowled.
“The girls were almost crying,” Angelo the mom said. “They were really upset.”
An older man opened his second story window and Antico asked him to reel take the cat in. The man refused.
“He was mean-spirited,” Angelo the daughter said.
The cat slipped and fell onto an awning. When it leapt back up, a crowd of onlookers gasped. But Angelo and Antico wouldn’t give up. Angelo the mom went to fetch an old sheet from her car. The cat tightrope-walked around the front of the building; it arrived at a gap in the molding and gathered itself to jump.
Angelo and Antico spread the sheet tight below and sure enough the cat fell…smack dab into their safety net. The crowd cheered.
“When we caught the cat, it felt good,” Angelo said. “I thought, ‘We’re cat-savers.’”
Angelo and Antico put the cat in the building’s vestibule. A neighbor agreed to pet-sit until the lucky owners returned home. Angelo the mom phoned 911 when the girls first spotted the cat and was told to phone 311. A 311 operator told her to phone animal rescue. She didn’t bother; her daughter and Antico fit the bill.
“I’m proud of Michelle and Jaime,” Angelo said. “My daughter is an animal lover. I was ready to put a cape on her.”
Angelo the daughter and Antico attend the P.S. 71 middle school academy and are cheerleaders for St. Theresa School. Both belong to the National Honor Society. The Angelos own a rabbit.
“I witnessed it,” said Nancy Anderson, a resident of the building. “The girls are heroes.”
Laura Franthi wasn’t surprised at how her granddaughter, Angelo, performed.
“Knowing Jaime, I figured she wouldn’t give up,” Franthi said. “That’s the way she is.”