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Just a short story here about a stray cat perched on one of the walls along the bridge that stretches over the Santa Ana River along Van Buren Boulevard….

A 19-year-old Riverside woman, Kimberly Lehto, called Riverside County Animal Services after she and her friend came across the stray cat while doing a bike ride shortly after 4 p.m. today (Feb. 24). Van Buren Boulevard is one of Riverside County’s busiest streets during afternoon commute periods.

“She looked so scared,” Lehto said. “I told my friend, ‘I’m not leaving him.’”

She let the cat smell her hand, pet her chin and scratched behind one of her ears. The feline seemed to appreciate the brief love, but also displayed a lot of skittish behavior, as if she was clawing onto the concrete for a firmer hold, Lehto said. She said she knew the animal shelter was very close – the bridge is less than half a mile away from the county’s main shelter – so she made the call for help on her cell phone and Officers Cecelia Morris and Lorena Barron responded.

“I didn’t want to grab her, because I didn’t want her to freak out and run into traffic,” Lehto said. “I actually told one of the officers, ‘you’re going to scare her.’ “

But the two officers had little trouble coaxing the beautiful gray-and-white Tabby into a portable carrier.

That made Lehto take a deep breath.

The healthy-looking cat was brought to the shelter where veterinary team members took over her care.

THE PHOTOS, below, were taken by Officer Tiffany Fuller of Riverside County Animal Services.

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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