Black cat who dashed onto field during Giants game is among strays living at MetLife Stadium - Jaime Bonetti Zeller

Black cat who dashed onto field during Giants game is among strays living at MetLife Stadium

Article Published by: nypost.com

They’re turning the goal posts into scratching posts!

The black cat that helped put the jinx on the Giants during “Monday Night Football” wasn’t just a random trespasser — it was part of a colony of as many as 300 feral felines that call MetLife Stadium home, The Post has learned.

The pigskin pusses are cared for by stadium workers, who keep a close eye on the cats on top of their regular duties, sources said.

“I looked and said, ‘That looks like one of the cats I feed!’ ” said an employee, who declined to give his real name, but who said he is known as the “Cat Man” around the sports complex in East Rutherford, NJ.

“There are over 300 feral cats in the complex right now. I go to seven or eight colonies at the [Meadowlands] racetrack, and there are people feeding them at MetLife,” he explained.

And it looks like the cats have been eating well.

The curious kitty who dashed onto the turf toward the end of the second quarter of the Giants’ game against the Dallas Cowboys — causing a two-minute delay — looked more like a fe-linebacker than your average scrappy street cat. “That cat was unbelievable!” the employee gushed. “He’s a big cat, a healthy cat, wasn’t he?”

The worker said the cats feast on up to 11 25-pound bags of dry food a week.

“The ownership [of the MetLife Sports Complex] pays for it, but I kick in 18 to 24 cans of wet food each week. They love the wet food,” he said.

They have separate living quarters, too.

The cat in question from Monday night’s game is part of a colony living in an underground tunnel used by stadium security, while another contingent resides nearby outside the New Jersey Racing Commission offices, the worker said.

He said he didn’t know if the cat had a name, though he said he gave the “Monday Night Football” cat one as soon as he saw it on the field. “Based on the way he got on and off that field, I’d say his name is Lucky!”

The cat colony is descended from so-called “barn cats” that were brought in decades ago to tackle rats the racetrack, The Bergen Record reported.

Nancy Sliwa, the wife of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, applauded the good press the cat-astrophe received. “At least it draws attention to the plight of the black cats,” said Nancy, who heads the Angels’ animal-protection program. “They tend to be the ones that aren’t adopted as much in shelters.”

Officials at MetLife denied last Monday that the facility is overrun by cats.

“We most definitely do not have 300 feral cats living in the stadium. We are an outdoor facility and at times have seen 1 or 2 cats roaming around (most famously last night),” said MetLife Stadium spokeswoman Helen Strus.

She also denied her group is feeding the cats. The facility is operated by a separate entity, the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority.

One MetLife employee said that the Cowboys tried to make a play for the wayward animal.

“The Cowboys want that cat — they were asking for it last night when they were leaving,” she said.


About Jaime Bonetti Zeller

Jaime Bonetti Zeller is an investment professional and entrepreneur with businesses in multiple industries. He is president of Servicios Consulares Eurodom, the local partner in the Caribbean region for VFS Global, a leader global outsourcing and technology services specialist for diplomatic missions and governments worldwide. Jaime Bonetti Zeller also started the company Sofratesa de Panama inc., an organization in the engineering services industry located in Panama City.