In almost two decades of rescuing cats and finding them homes, Ocean City’s Judy Cantin has never before dealt with a catnapping.

But a month ago, somebody stole 3-year-old Harley from a room where he stayed with about 15 other older cats at the Cape-Atlantic C.A.T.S. adoption center in Ocean City. Cantin rescued Harley as a kitten. He has an eye condition that needs regular medication, she said.

“It was probably somebody who had been denied adoption or who knew they couldn’t qualify,” Cantin said. The group requires adopters to have a history of responsible pet ownership.

“I just hope whoever took him really likes him, and it’s not someone looking to abuse an animal,” she said.

Cantin, who works in the family business Valu Cleane Janitorial Service in Ocean City, got into cat rescue about 18 years ago. A feral cat with kittens was living under her house, and she called the Ocean City Humane Society, which sent a volunteer to trap them.

The mother cat was spayed and returned to her subterranean home, where Cantin continued to feed her, and the kittens all found adoptive homes. After that, Cantin became a Humane Society volunteer, and five years ago founded the nonprofit C.A.T.S. (Citizens Altering The Strays), to save more felines from being euthanized.

The adoption center is in a storefront at 959 Asbury Ave., where there is also a thrift shop to raise money to help pay for vaccines, spaying and other veterinary care. C.A.T.S. is offering a $200 reward for the return of Harley. Call 609-399-4CAT or email wehelpcats@msn.com.

Local pageant finalists

Sensaisha Kidd-Blackwell, 11, of Atlantic City; and Tara Anne Petrosh, 12, of Mays Landing, have been chosen as finalists in the pre-teen division of the National American Miss New Jersey Pageant, to be held Aug. 25-26 at the Hilton in East Brunswick, Middlesex County.

Kidd-Blackwell is active in karate, ballet, basketball, gymnastics, chorus and cheerleading, said her mom, Melissa Kidd.

Petrosh is involved with the “We Care” Committee at Assumption Regional Catholic School in Galloway Township, community theater, singing and volunteering at The Alcove Center for Grieving Children and Families in Northfield, said parents Beth and Oscar Petrosh.

Everyone Has a Story appears Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post:

609-272-7219