Cat Found In Basement Where She Was Abandoned 20 Years Ago

She just saw sunlight again for the first time.

Ever since her owners moved out, a nameless cat has been depending on the kindness of the people who live in the New York City apartment building where she was left behind. According to the superintendent, her owners abandoned her in 1997 — 20 years ago.

Cat abandoned in NYC apartment building basement
Anita Diamantopoulou

The senior cat has spent two decades living alone in the basement of the building without any access to sunlight or fresh air.

Earlier this year, Anita Diamantopoulou, a video editor here at The Dodo, moved into the apartment building and learned about the cat in the basement.

Cat abandoned in NYC building basement
Anita Diamantopoulou

"I would go and give her food and pet her,” Diamantopoulou told The Dodo. “She is super friendly and loves head rubs!”

Cat abandoned in NYC building basement loves getting pet
Anita Diamantopoulou

Diamantopoulou was determined to get the cat, whom she calls Granny, out of the building. She took Granny to a veterinarian, who gave her vaccinations and took blood tests.

Granny is very skinny. She also is missing most of her teeth. But she still loves to eat, drink water and get face rubs. Even though she was left alone two decades ago, she is extremely affectionate. There was no way this sweet cat was going back to the basement. 

Cat abandoned in basement getting fed
Anita Diamantopoulou

But Diamantopoulou already has a cat, and she couldn’t take in another one. So she worked to find a solution for Granny. 

Luckily, a friend agreed to foster Granny — and possibly adopt her, assuming all goes well. So over the weekend, Diamantopoulou brought Granny into what was probably the first home the cat had seen in 20 years. 

Cat saved from basement in cat carrier
Anita Diamantopoulou

Granny exited her cat carrier cautiously and looked around. The sunlight seemed a little jarring for her, considering the darkness she was accustomed to. 

Cat saved from basement exploring new home
Anita Diamantopoulou

“The first day she stayed in the bathroom where it is dark and cooler,” Diamantopoulou said. "I guess the sun bothers her since she hasn't been out since forever.”

senior cat rescued from nyc building basement
Anita Diamantopoulou

But Diamantopoulou tried to make Granny feel safe and at home in this new world. "I cleaned her with baby wipes,” Diamantopoulou said. “And I fed her and spent time with her.”

cat saved from basement eating food
Anita Diamantopoulou

Diamantopoulou returned the next day to see how Granny was adjusting — and it seemed that she was already feeling more at home. "I found her sitting outside the bathroom and she welcomed me,” Diamantopoulou said. 

cat saved from basement
Anita Diamantopoulou

Nothing can erase all the years Granny spent alone in the dark, but her life is already looking so much brighter.

To help with Granny’s vet bills, you can make a donation.