NYPD Rescues Astoria Rooftop Cat After 6 Days Atop Burnt Houses

Astoria House Fire Rooftop Cat Rescued by NYPD New York City

After six days trapped atop three burnt Astoria houses, a neighborhood cat was rescued with the assistance of the 114th Precinct of the NYPD. Neighbor Tracy Levine persisted tirelessly to gain assistance to rescue the trapped cat, named Hunka Munka, who went missing last Wednesday night. As first reported here yesterday, the FDNY told her, “We don’t get paid enough.” Calls to 311, the ACC (Animal Care & Control) and the ASPCA did not result in any assistance.

Officer Scocca, Officer Cascio and Officer Sayan from the 114th Precinct came to the buildings in Queens this morning.

Astoria House Fire Cat Rescued by NYPD New York City
Hunka Munka off roof at last!

Levine recounted, “After calling the 114th precinct since Thursday incessantly, I finally found a cop with a heart.”
Rescue of Astoria House Fire Rooftop Cat by NYPD New York City

Astoria House Fire Cat Rescued by NYPD New York City
Got her!

The three officers arrived at the buildings this morning around 9:30 a.m. Tracy knew that the cat had gone into the trap at some point between 3 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.

She said, “At 3 a.m., the cat was still outside screaming.” Until that point, “even with my windows closed, I could hear her screaming and howling.”

A cat trap had been placed on top of the building with food 2 1/2 days ago, but, up until the wee hours of this morning, the feline  had not gone inside. The next plan, if this had not worked, was to place a “plank” so the normally free-roaming cat, who Tracy looks after in the neighborhood, might climb down.

With relief in her voice, Levine said, “Along the way, I almost got arrested for trespassing. It’s been an ordeal.”

Tracy Levine with her vet and Hunka Monka the brave cat
Tracy Levine with her vet and Hunka Munka

The three connected houses at 3085, 3087, and 3089 23rd Street were in a 2 Alarm fire on March 10, 2016. Last week, the houses were opened up; that is when the cat climbed inside. When boarded back up, there was no exit available and she made her way to the roof.

After the daring rescue, Levine took the cat immediately to her vet; dehydrated, the feline was given fluids. It is expected that Hunka Munka can go home today. What a story she can tell her cat friends!

A happy ending to this sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat story.

One thing we can learn from it: Let’s switch things up in how some people look at outdoor cats, so that, should a situation like this occur again, assistance will be given to any living being, whether a free-roaming cat or someone’s house “pet.”

On Twitter, the 114th Precinct proudly tweeted a picture of the three officers with cat after the rescue with the caption: #ITSWHATWEDO

Thanks to everyone who commented and offered to help. Kudos to Tracy Levine and everyone who assisted along the way and, of course, the New York City Police Department 114th Precinct! Job well done!

* * *

A screen shot from video Levine took: The black and white amidst this scene is the cat atop the roof, at one point, she looked over the edge; she constantly cried and meowed for help:

Hunka Monka the cat atop Astoria Queens rooftop trapped
Hunka Munka when atop roof
114 Precinct NYPD Twitter on cat rescue Astoria trapped roof
114 Precinct Twitter:

Photos: courtesy Tracy Levine

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10 thoughts on “NYPD Rescues Astoria Rooftop Cat After 6 Days Atop Burnt Houses”

  1. There was no reason the cat to be on the roof for six days. This group would have gotten her down right away.\ 34 E Main St, Ste 303 Smithtown, New York (888) 287-3864 Guardians of Rescue.

    • Hi Ava!

      Sorry to take while to respond. The issue was that this cat was a stray/feral and not a cat you could just scoop up in your arms. The rescuer did have a trap up on top of the roof but the cat had not gone in for a few days and the owner of the building was giving her some trouble. There were a few issues going on simultaneously. Finally the cat went in the trap and the NYPD got up to the roof so the stars aligned.

      But thanks for the info of the Guardians of Rescue! Definitely will think of them for any situations in the future. Cathryn

  2. What does this event have to do with Washington Square Park other than an article to try to put FDNY and NYPD in a bad and unresponsive light…really.
    There is enough neglect going on in WSP that needs serious attention e.g. Paint spattering all over the new Arch lighting system by so called homeless “artists”; skateboarders that are “grinding” and damaging our park benches; and the massive rat infestations that is fed by piles of garbage left overnight in the park due to inadequate trash receptacles and lack of nighttime collection; lack of police coverage at night; and a nearby recent killing of a small dog by a large and vicious dog owned by some park squatter. Please focus on WSP

  3. While I applaud this rescue, I am saddened that a life was in such distress for so long when help was to be had from the beginning.
    Please, never think any life is beneath you.
    Thank you for rescuing, and ASPCA, ACC, shame on YOU for not taking immediate action, this is also YOUR job.

  4. Thank you Tracy and the Best of the Police Department, Officers Sayan, Cascio and Scocca! Love, a cat colony manager from Chicago!


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