Here kitty, kitty: The search for the MetLife Stadium black cat
Anyone who watched the Giants/Cowboys game during “Monday Night Football” – or spent any time on the internet at all, really – likely would have seen the black cat that ran onto the field at MetLife Stadium during the nationally televised broadcast.
The cat scampered on the field during a Giants drive in the second quarter and forced referee Clay Martin to delay the game for few minutes while workers at MetLife Stadium and a couple of New Jersey state troopers herded the feline toward the end zone away from the players.
The crowd reaction to the cat was a mixture of surprise and glee, and cheers erupted from the stadium as the cat ran away.
While a black cat on a football field appears to be surprising – one person who was not surprised was animal control officer Carol Tyler. Tyler owns Tyco Animal Control, which provides animal control for East Rutherford, where the stadium is located, as well as for about two dozen other towns in Bergen County. Tyler says that the cat was one of many strays that have lived in the Meadowlands complex for decades.
“They do wander the complex, all three parts of the complex – the American Dream, MetLife Stadium and also the racetrack,” she says.
The first colony of stray cats appears to have started in the now-empty sables of the Meadowlands Racetrack. Horse owners would come for the season and bring their pets or care for local strays and would leave them when the horse racing season ended.
“At one point, the Meadowlands did address it by having us do ‘Have a Heart’ traps and getting them out of there because they were actually invading the food stands along the race course,” Tyler says.
Tyco Animal Control no longer works at any Meadowlands facility.
At the racetrack now, two volunteer groups, Focus Rescue Group and Homeless Tails capture, spay and release the stray cats to keep the population down. They say they've brought it from 100 or so to about 50.
News 12’s Brian Donohue did try to speak with someone from MetLife Stadium, but no one ever called back.
Stadium officials said in a tweet that the cat disappeared under some seats and that they plan to take it to the vet to be examined if they catch it.
The Associated Press Wire services contributed to this report.