Volume 75, Number 48 | April 19 - 25 2006

Photo by Talisman Brolin, courtesy of NY Daily News

Molly the cat got love and attention from Kevin Clifford, 33 — who rescued her from a space in a wall at Myers of Keswick — at the apartment of Jennifer Myers, 28, who fed her babyfood. Myers’s father, Peter, owns the shop. Clifford is a sandhog, or tunnel worker, who was working on a new city water shaft project nearby, and offered to help when he heard about Molly’s predicament.

Molly, the curious cat comes back, with some help

By Jefferson Siegel and Lincoln Anderson

Hudson St. and the rest of the world held its breath this past week as one local resident went spelunking. Molly, the 1-year-old guardian of Myers of Keswick, obviously neglected to give advance notice of her two-week vacation. After all, she had been working most of her life as the purveyor of British food’s mouser in charge.

After she vanished inside a space in a wall — a landmarked wall, this being Greenwich Village — the media focused attention on her dilemma worthy of a natural disaster. Not to mention appearances by the woman in the mouse suit, the psychics and the plain curious.

Physicists may have traded smarmy jokes about the quantum dilemma of Schrodinger’s cat. But another possible scenario derives from a book by sci fi master Robert A. Heinlein, “The Cat Who Walks Through Walls,” which postulated a puss padding through the space-time continuum, and walls, to other universes.

Cheers sounded with Molly’s safe return Friday, and after a brief recovery and some T.L.C., she soon appeared on a bevy of TV news shoes. Is the inevitable sit-down in the lap of Larry King or on “Dateline” far off?

However, there’s another story, said Peter Myers, proprietor of the 20-year-old store between Horatio and Jane Sts. The place has been left in a shambles because of all the holes that were punched and drilling done to try to find Molly, and repairs will cost thousands of dollars, he said. It was believed the cat had been moving around in the space, but in fact she had been stuck in one spot for two weeks, Myers said Kevin Clifford, who rescued her, told him. Clifford had to pull her out by her front feet, he said.

Obviously, Molly can’t go back to work until the holes are patched up.

“We’ve got to get all these walls fixed before we can bring her back,” Myers said. “Now I’m left with this gaping hole inside. There’s a hole outside. And the basement is like a bomb site.”

Myers said the city’s Center for Animal Care and Control told him they would help with the repairs once Molly was out. However, he hasn’t heard a thing from them yet.

“One stage I was told it would be no problem,” Myers said of C.A.C.C. “And of course, it’s a landmarked building, I can’t do anything without approval.”

While Molly’s rescue was a feel-good story, the hard repair work now remains. Meanwhile, Mollymania has abated.

“Nobody’s been anywhere near since the cat was extracted,” Myers said. While Molly hasn’t lost her job, Myers admitted, “I look at the cat every night and think, ‘God does she know the stress she’s caused me.’ ”

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