Danielle, the pretty kitty missing after she escaped from a carrier near the Animal Nature shop in Regent Square on Oct. 16, is in a warm Forest Hills home today after being found Saturday in Frick Park.
Danielle had last been seen at the corner of South Braddock Avenue and Guthrie Street, headed away from Frick Park and into the residential area. Volunteers, who had rescued Danielle after her former family got rid of her because she had fleas, were heartsick when they couldn't find her.
On Friday, Silvano Gallego of Swissvale was running near the Irish Centre off of Commercial Street, near that entrance to Frick Park when he spotted a cat that looked like Danielle.
"I saw the black kitty on Friday," Gallego said, noting that he tried to get the cat to come to him, but someone with a dog walking nearby scared her off.
"I'd read the story about this kitty (on Patch)," he said. "I stopped and I looked for her but then (when I couldn't find her), I kept running. I was really sad about the cat."
When he got home, Gallego called volunteer Sandy Reech, who had been instrumental in the effort to find the cat, to let her know he had seen a cat matching the photo on Patch as he was running in the park.
Reech said he went home, checked Forest Hills-Regent Square Patch and was "almost positive it was her."
On Saturday, a group of volunteers set out to find Danielle. Gallego went out running again Saturday but didn't see her.
According to Reech, Sandi and Brad Hudson spotted her, gained Danielle's trust and got her in a carrier. Sandi was first on scene and saw Danielle sitting on a log in a marsh, Reech said.
Carolyn Burr, a Forest Hills resident who was one of the main searchers, has taken Danielle into her home. Burr had posted hundreds of signs in the area in hopes of finding the missing feline.
"I am 'fostering' her for the moment," Burr said. "She is very affectionate!"
For Gallego, a native of Colombia, South America, who is voting in his first U.S. election on Tuesday, the story couldn't have had a happier ending.
"That was a really, really beautiful story," he said. "It made my weekend."