NYPD Officer’s Cat Missing for 2 Years Found, Returned by Zombie

NEW YORK – Late Saturday night, the “Times Square Zombie” was walking on 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan when he saw a black and white cat running rampant in the middle of the street.

Jeremy Zelkowitz, a 22-year-old Brooklyn native, who works as a promoter and dresses in character as a zombie for Times Scare, a year-round haunted house located on Eighth Avenue, saw the fugitive cat trying to enter Dallas BBQ and later Starbucks.

According to Zelkowitz, the cat then darted on and off of the road interrupting traffic. That’s when he and a friend decided to help and took the curious cat to nearby BluePearl Veterinary Partners specialty and emergency hospital in Manhattan on 55th Street.

Once at BluePearl, doctors used a microchip scanner and were able to determine the cat, named Disaster, belonged to Jimmy Helliesen, a Long Island resident and New York City Police Officer.

“When our staff initially called Mr. Helliesen, he couldn’t believe it and thought we were playing a practical joke on him,” said Steve Baker, hospital administrator of BluePearl in Manhattan. “He said Disaster had gone missing two years ago.”

According to Helliesen, he has been fostering cats at his home in Long Island that wind up at the precinct where he works until he can find them a home with suitable owners. Disaster was one of the first he took in, but about two years ago, he managed to claw through a screened window and got loose.

“This really goes to show the importance of micro-chipping your pets,” said Baker. “If you and your pet are separated, sooner or later, the odds of you and your pet being reunited are more likely thanks to this affordable technology.”

Micro-chipping is an inexpensive procedure where a tiny, rice-sized microchip is implanted under the pet’s skin and can be used by veterinarians or animal service workers to find the pet’s owner.

No one may ever know the full story of where Disaster spent the past two years or how he got from Long Island to Manhattan, but he has been reunited with Helliesen and is back at home in Long Island.

About BluePearl Veterinary Partners
Formed in 2008, BluePearl Veterinary Partners is headquartered in Tampa, Fla., and employs more than 1,200 people including approximately 250 veterinarians. BluePearl hospitals are referral-only and don’t provide primary care. Most BluePearl hospitals offer 24-hour emergency care services. BluePearl is one of the world’s principal providers of approved veterinary residency and internship educational programs. BluePearl also participates in and conducts clinical trials to study the effectiveness of new drugs and treatments, which give clients access to cutting-edge medicine not yet commercially available and improves the quality of care delivered to our patients.


Date: Apr. 4, 2013