Reuniting Cat with Grieving Boy

51 Division
While on patrol in Regent Park, Neighbourhood Community Officers Consts. Mustafa Popalazia and Farzad Ghotbi were approached by a community resident who requested they spend some time with a young boy who had just lost his mother to cancer.

“We went to the home and there was a bunch of people there,” recalled Ghotbi. “All we knew was that this woman had died and left behind her eight-year-old son.”

After spending some time with the family, the 51 Division officers were leaving the home when the boy, Memo, who was silent for most of the time they were in his company, ran to the front door and asked if they could find his cat.

The day his mother died, the family's young cat, Leo, slipped through the door that was open often as visitors came to express their condolences.

“An uncle, who is caring for the boy, said the kitten ran out of the home and wasn’t seen for six days,” said Ghotbi, of the cat that had no collar yet and had not been microchipped. “They gave us a name and picture and asked if we could help them find it as that was all the boy had left.”

The officers went to the nearby Toronto Humane Society and were told they had just received some cats found in the area.

“We gave them the cat’s name and the boy’s address and provided them with a fuzzy picture of the animal,” said Ghotbi, “They wanted more, so we got the uncle to send us pictures that were much clearer and then it was determined that they had the cat, they had Leo.”

The boy and his pet were reunited two days later.

“We are happy that we were able to play our part in helping him get his kitten back because that means so much to him,” Ghotbi said. “We also learned that he likes swimming and basketball and we bought him goggles and a ball. He calls us almost daily.”

Neighbourhood Community Officers are assigned to communities for four years, in order to build long-term relationships to improve community safety.

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