How three stray cats became beloved Northside neighborhood oddities
By Chloe Burkhart
You don’t have to travel to Los Angeles or Manhattan to catch a glimpse of a celebrity. Allegheny West is home to three stars at the top of this town’s A-List. They can be seen and heard from their three-story penthouse nestled within the trees of Rope Way.
They’re the Allegheny West Alley Cats: The fabled four-legged friends who grace porch stoops all across the neighborhood. These privileged felines have become a neighborhood novelty, adding even more character to these streets’ already one-of-a-kind personality. But where did they come from and how did they get so…famous?
On a cold February day nearly three years ago, homeowner Pat Mistick found a white-spotted cat roaming around her home. She did what most animal friendly people would do when greeted face-to-face with an adorable stray: She started feeding it dog food.
Mistick assumes the white cat, who remains nameless, was dropped off and left in her neighborhood by an owner who could no longer care for it. As soon as it realized it could count on her for food, it stuck around. It wasn’t long before the cat declared Mistick and her husband its family and Allegheny West its home.
The pet lovers couldn’t take in another guest. Their home was already bursting with dogs, birds, and visiting grandchildren, so they came up with another plan. Mistick ventured out and purchased the white cat its own food and home, complete with a heater to keep it warm during the freezing winter months.
It wasn’t long before more cats wanted to move in. Two feral black cats settled around Mistick’s property. Despite not knowing where they came from the couple was eager to welcome them. Mistick purchased another heated cat house: this one, big enough to comfortably fit all three.
Take a left off of Western Avenue onto Rope Way and you will see the grand mansion these feline A-listers call home. Find them modeling on the steps of a building being restored on North Lincoln Avenue, just a few feet away from their home.
A craftsmen with Midstate Contractors, Inc., a company working on the building, said he’s been looking for the cats, but hasn’t seen them yet.
Even with all of her effort and the compassion she shows for the cats, Mistick hasn’t been able to hold them.
“I can sit outside with [the cats] but I’ve tried picking up the white one and it just jumps out of my hands,” she said.
Thanks to Mistick’s incredible family, the strays of Allegheny West have become a neighborhood delight.
“[The cats] have been a great addition to our family of animals,” Mistick said.
Take a stroll around the neighborhood and you may see these celebrities strolling down alleyways and sidewalks. If you’re lucky, they might let you take their picture. But please, no autographs.