Nanny Steals Aging Cat to Save Him From “The Needle”

For animal lovers, the decision to euthanize a cat, even an aging cat, is reserved for situations where suffering overshadows everything else. In these devastating cases, it’s a decision that’s made out of love and compassion, not hostility or anger. That’s how it should be, at least. Unfortunately, that’s not how it always works out for senior cats. But no matter what, cat lovers always try to do what’s best for our feline friends. For compassionate cat lover Kelsey Katz, that meant breaking the law.

Katz used to work as a nanny for a family that included two children and one aging cat named Tigger. When the kitty’s owner told Katz that Tigger was going to be euthanized, she knew she couldn’t let that happen. She took Tigger from that home and has no intentions of giving him back—even though it means going to trial and potential jail time. 

senior cat
Image Courtesy of NBC News

This sad story starts long before Tigger’s owners scheduled a date for his euthanization.

For years, Katz remembers the family making comments about their aging cat’s declining health and “behavior issues.” As he aged, Tigger started having more accidents in the house. When he threw up on the family’s furniture in early July, that seemed to be the last straw. According to NY Post, Tigger’s owner allegedly told Katz,

Smell this. Tigger just threw up on my nice couch…Once he throws up on my nice furniture, that’s the end, he’s getting the boot, he’s getting the needle. Tigger’s going to the vet.

The phrase “getting the needle” was apparently said often enough in the home that the small children started repeating the words. Katz describes how she was afraid every day before going to work, because she didn’t know whether or not Tigger would still be there. And when she was told an appointment had been made for Tigger at the vet, she didn’t hesitate to act.

Sacrificing her steady job, Katz took Tigger and left a note on the counter.

The note read,

” I can’t let this happen.”

senior cat
Image courtesy of New York Post

Knowing she was out of a job, Katz simply couldn’t allow Tigger to be put to sleep. In her opinion, the 15-year-old cat was suffering from normal old-age ailments. She predicted simple management would improve his quality of life.

Shortly after stealing the aging cat, Katz received a text message warning her that if she didn’t give Tigger back, the family would call the police. Again, knowing the consequences, she refused. She ended up turning herself into the police on July 8.

She spent two hours in a holding cell and has been charged with petit larceny. 

Katz has veterinary documents that show she has already spent hundreds of dollars on check-ups and treatment for Tigger. The paperwork, however, still shows “inconclusive” results relating to Tigger’s quality of life. In court on July 6, his original family demanded that the senior cat be returned to their care. But despite their pleas, Nassau County Judge Rhonda Fischer denied their request. She decided she needs an official report on the cat’s current health before the matter can be settled.

Both Katz and the family are due back in court on August 14 when the judge will hopefully make a final decision about Tigger’s future.

In the meantime, Tigger remains with Katz. She’s determined to keep him safe as she fights for his right to live out his senior years.

Featured image courtesy of New York Post

REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!

Related Story: Senior Cat Finds The Purrfect Retirement Home After Owner Moves Into Assisted Living–In Florida Of Course!Related Story: Senior “Vintage” Cat Faces Love & Heartbreak To Find Her Fur-ever Home…Again!

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14 Comments

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  1. You’re a very kind and compassionate person. I hope everything works out for both of You. Best Wishes and God Bless both of You Always. I’ll help You out as much as I can. Please keep posting

  2. Please Please don’t give this sweet cat back to that horrid murdering family……LetTigger Live out the rest of his senior years with the nanny who obviously loves him…….All this rotten family cares about is their furniture ….not a living breathing feeling cognizant loving cat…..PLEASE HELP THIS KITTY TO STAY WITH THE NANNY….he doesn’t deserve to die for the sin of vomiting on some disgusting persons couch……

    • Jeez, what’s the difference. The family was going to put the cat to sleep. Kelsey is willing to take care of the cat. I don’t understand why the owners would rather kill the cat than give him a loving home.

  3. Katz, what a wonderful person you are! I hope all goes well for you and Tigger! You certainly deserve it. Doesn’t sound as if the family should have pets. They don’t fit in somehow. Children need to see and experience animals from babies to older ones. Good Luck to you!

  4. Before we all jump to conclusions on touchy-feely grounds, how about realizing that this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, and it’s quite possible the family is thinking long and hard about this.
    Rather than automatically judging them and considering them to be a “horrible family” it’s possible that this nanny took that sort of thing out of context. Ageing, declining health, behavioural issues were all raised by the family who she was working for, it could be more than just vomiting on someone’s couch.

    I can appreciate her compassion, and she may be a cat lover, but she broke the law and stole something that wasn’t hers, and she intervened with presumably very little knowledge about the situation. Since there is two sides to every story, let’s wait for the court case before jumping to conclusions.

    • You should also consider that as their nanny, she was around ALL the time–and saw the day to day happenings between the family and the cat. If she has the cat now and it’s NOT vomiting on furniture…then I tend to believe that it’s in a much better place now. Yes, there are two sides to every story but the fact that the children began repeating “getting the needle” phrase, you know it was said repeatedly. I do so look forward to what the judge decides and hope that the CATS interests are put first. Not material possessions.

    • If the family loved Tigger, they would be happy for Kelsey to take him home and care for him in a way that they had no interest in. These are cold hearted people who would have Kelsey arrested because she loved the cat and didn’t want to see him unceremoniously put down because he became inconvenient.

    • The Cat “belongs,” to NO ONE BUT HIMSELF.
      He is NOT A ITEM OF PROPERTY. To blindly follow
      the “LAW,” when it is ILLOGICAL, means that one
      has no mind of their own. As she was OBVIOUSLY present MOST OF THE TIME, it is quite conceivable that she WAS FULLY AWARE OF THE SITUATION. TIGGER HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE AND JUST BECAUSE IT HAS BECOME INCONVENIENT
      IS NO DAMN EXCUSE. I HEARTILY APPLAUD MS. KATZ, AND I WOULD/WILL DO THE VERY SAME THING GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY. SEND ME TO JAIL, ANY ANIMAL IS MORE THAN WORTH IT❗
      I am an ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, and a USMC Combat Veteran, and I will do whatever it takes to
      alter the very MISTAKEN IDEA,THAT ANIMALS ARE PROPERTY. IF THIS LEADS TO INCARCERATION, SO BE IT❗❗

  5. I rescued a 16-year old cat from the dog pound 3 months ago. I knew no one would take him. He was solid black (strike 1), had crumpled-up ears from some trauma (strike 2), was covered in hairballs that looked like dreadlocks (strike 3), and had been surrendered for “being too old. He’s 16”. (Jackpot!). The pound let me have him for free. He’s a picky eater, but uses the litterbox faithfully and is a total lovebug!

  6. Rotten family is right. They have no love for their feline FAMILY MEMBER. I would hope no judge would give Tigger back to that ignorant woman who OBVIOUSLY doesn’t want the cat. So why is she begging for Tigger back now?!

  7. What a horrific family who would rather put their pet to sleep than allow someone else to care for him. They obviously never loved poor Tigger to begin with and never thought of him as a family member. Let’s pray that a good judge will see the merits of Kelsey “stealing” this poor soul so she can give him a better life to live out his old age!

  8. I know it could cause more trouble, but until this is settled and Katz gets a favourable ruling (hopefully)…then perhaps she could find Tigger a very out of the way play to disappear in among other cats so that he cannot be returned simply to be killed. I know it would be a lot of extra stress on the senior kitty, but 15 still gives many years of quality life left. We have routinely had cats live to be 20 and one was one month shy of her 25th birthday. He could have his final 9th life of 9 years left in him.

    So what if he has some digestive issues from time to time or even litter box problems. If you take on the responsibility of a cat who should be indoors, then you must be prepared. This is the same for any pet.

    Lastly, I cannot IMAGINE joking or ‘lightly speaking’ about n animal..a pet! “Gonna get the needle” as if it were a punishment. What horrible people and what a terrible influence on their children!!! The crux of the matter seems to be power and pride because they certainly don’t care about the cat. He is now just a pawn for that family. If they were going to get rid of him anyway, would the nanny taking him not be a blessing? That way the kids do not have to know that the cat was killed. What morons!

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Written by Amber King

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