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Volunteers Searching For Missing Cat: ‘We’re Not Losing Hope Yet’

EAST HAMPTON, NY — Some might not take the time to worry or care that Violet, a 4-year-old cat who’s been living in East Hampton, has been missing for just about a month. Violet is feral, and is one of the many like her de ella who live in colonies on the East End, not socialized and almost invisible to many.

But Violet means the world to the cat with whom she’s tightly bonded, her son Freddy. And two volunteers who’ve been feeding the pair for years are deeply concerned about where Violet might have gone.

Julia Mead has turned to social media to search for Violet, a missing tortoiseshell cat: “If you live near Hands Creek and Alwive Brook Roads, please keep an eye out for Violet. We are worried about her,” she wrote. “Her son of her Freddy is alone now.”

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Mead told Patch that all who care about Violet are determined to bring her back safely, despite the grim odds. “We’re not losing hope yet,” she said.

Mead said Patrice Gleasner first cared for Violet and Freddy but, when she moved to Virginia with her husband, she left the feral mom and son in her care.

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“About a year and a half ago, I saw that a woman had posted on social media that she was looking for help in feeding some feral cats,” Mead said. While Mead had helped with feral cat colonies in the past, this time, it was just Violet and Freddy who needed care.

Both Violet and Freddy were trapped, neutered and released by the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.

Mead has been feeding the pair regularly until one day about a month ago, when Violet never returned. That’s highly irregular, Mead said. “Those two are always bonded,” she said. “They were always together. I don’t think I ever saw one without the other.”

Around the same time, a third cat showed up, Mead said. But it’s a mystery whether Violet was scared away, because while Freddy came back to her feeding spot, she never has. Another option is that, because it’s summer, Violet is being fed at one of the many homes now occupied during the summer months.

“Or, it could be the thing that we really don’t want to think about—that something really bad has happened to Violet,” she said.

Mead continues, however, to post photos of Violet on social media and now, she’s hoping to have flyers made that can be placed in mail boxes. “I really don’t want to give up on her,” she said.

She tried to explain the deep concern she feels for animals that are essentially wild. “It’s knowing that they are feral and they don’t have anybody taking care of them,” she said.

Every morning, Mead not only arrives to feed the cats but also, “to keep an eye on them,” she said. “The fact that they are feral means they are vulnerable to a lot of things that house cats are not. They can be hit by cars, or pick up diseases in the woods.”

While Mead said her pleas on social media have sparked a response, most people have reported seeing cats that are actual pets, not feral. The easiest way to identify Violet is that one of her ears is tipped, which is what a rescue organization does when they trap and neuter a feral cat — the tip of the ear is then flat, not round, she said.

Freddy still comes every day to greet her. Less afraid of people than Violet, he keeps about a 2-foot distance, Mead said.

“When I come in the morning, he’s waiting for me,” she added. “It’s kind of sad. He’s always had his mother from him. And now he’s completely alone.”

Gleasner, a pet sitter who first cared for the pair, said Violet and Freddy were “obviously very bonded from Day 1.”

She fed them every morning, even after snowstorms. “Although they weren’t trusting, they knew I would never hurt them, no matter what.” Even when she and her husband de ella decided to move, one of her biggest worries de ella were Violet and Freddy. “One of my biggest concerns was making sure my cats were covered,” she said.

And now, Gleasner said, she is praying for Violet’s return. “It’s a very worrisome situation,” she said. “I know someone has seen her, for better or worse — and any help is greatly appreciated.”

If you’ve seen Violet, take a photo and text the date, time and location to 631-745-4482.


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