A mystery in Astoria is growing stranger by the day. Caregivers for the neighborhood's feral and outdoor cats report that at least 60 felines have gone missing between early December and now.
Photo by Mary Witty Old Orange, a ginger tomcat who disappeared from a feral cat colony around December 12.
"Just for Astoria alone it looks like it's between 66 and 70," says Mary Witty. "Just in this neighborhood."
Witty, who works at NYU, has lived in Astoria for 14 years. She's cared for a colony of feral cats for about five years, seven of them, all of whom were part of a Trap Neuter Return program to keep the city's outdoor cat population down. She set up food and shelters for them in her yard, and most of them slept there every night; several were related to one another.
Then, one morning in December, she realized they'd begun to vanish.