Today I’m honored to present a young man who might look familiar to you from the latest installment of “Show Your Soft Side,” a campaign dedicated to changing the mindset of young people in the Baltimore area towards animal abuse. Working in the West side of Baltimore, Officer Jon Boyer has done his share of rescuing animals from dire situations and has adopted six cats.
I couldn’t help but swoon when I first saw the poster of Jon nuzzling a cat and I’m not the only one judging by the launching of a new Facebook fan page called I Love Jon Boyer. In case you’re wondering, Jon was dating someone until recently – they divvied-up the cats between them – so now he’s single in with three cats (like me!).
Is it in your job description to help animals in need?
No, and lot of officers don’t, but most of my squad does. I work in a rough neighborhood where they have no problem killing a human. Why would they have problem killing an animal?
I’ve always had a soft spot for animals. When I have downtime and see it or hear about it [an animal in need] I do something about it. I’m always willing to help when asked to volunteer. Just this week I rescued two cats and a Pit Bull. It’s like they find me on purpose now!
Are you affiliated with, or do you work with a specific animal rescue group?
Not officially, but normally we take them to BARCS Animal Shelter to get check out.
What is it about cats that attracted you to them?
One of my favorite cartoons growing up was Sylvester the cat. I loved that freaking cat. I honestly don’t know why. I think it was because I was always very athletic and people would tell I had cat-like reactions – fast, agile. I enjoyed the comparisons.
When did you get your first cat?
I’d always been pushing for a cat, and it was 5th or 6th grade when I finally got one. He was a black and white tuxedo named Whiskers* who lived to be about 17 years old.
*Suspiciously like Sylvester The Cat?!
So how did you end up with six cats?
The first cat my ex and I got was an orange Tabby named Ziggy adopted from a local rescue group.
Our second cat was from a call I answered where someone had thrown a white and brown kitten down a trash chute. We kept him and named him Harley.
Quincy, (cat number three) a black-and-white cat, was adopted from Last Chance Rescue.
Moagli, an all-black cat was rescued from a vacant house and literally got right into my squad car and sat in the passenger side seat. He became cat number four.
While on a call with my buddy we found a grey and orange kitten inside the steps of a house. The kitten looked just like Orly (my ex-girlfriend’s cat who had recently been put down) so I took her home and we named her Lynnie (cat number five).
Kitten number six is the one who made me “famous.” I was on a domestic call on the same block from where I’d rescued lots of cats. I heard a scream coming from inside a house. I kept hearing it and finally saw a little tiny baby brown tabby kitten sitting right outside a vacant house screaming. I decided to take her and she snuggled up right into my arms. We named her Lilly.
How did Lilly make you famous?
By the time I got to BARCs Lilly was perched on my shoulder. The girl at BARC thought it was cute and asked if she could get a photo of me holding her. I said sure.
They posted it on their page and it got thousands of likes and I got hundreds of marriage requests and a bunch of inappropriate comments.
That’s Lilly with me in the “Show Your Soft Side” billboard. She looks a lot bigger in the picture than she is in real life. They actually took a whole bunch of photos with Harley and Quincy too, but Lilly’s photo is the first one they released.
Tell us a little about each of the three cats that live with you now.
Quincy is funny. He’ll knock something off and break it and just look at me like “do something.” He’s standoffish with people he doesn’t to know, but if he knows you he wants belly rubs.
Lilly you can do anything to. She’s a snuggler and a licker. Harley is a bad ass. He gets into everything and anything.
They all sleep on the bed with me at night.
Do you think you’ll get any more cats?
I would love to, but I can’t. My new roommate said no more than three.
Tell us about your most recent feline rescue.
One of my partners pointed him out to me, an orange cat eating out of the trash with a cut all the way around his neck (the photo is posted on the BARCS Facebook page but it’s too graphic to publish here). I wouldn’t be surprised if someone did it to him.
He was very scared. I got a hold of him but he got away from me and went inside an abandoned house. I wanted to break down the door but thought about all the paper work and decided it probably wasn’t the best idea. When we finally got into the house we cornered him in a closet, I picked him up and put him in a clean trash can with a lid on it.
He’s been named Craison and had surgery funded by The Franky Fund (a fund created by BARCS that allows seriously sick or injured to obtain the emergency medical attention they need). I think someone will be willing to rescue him once he’s ready to go.
On November 29th, just days after giving this interview, Jon’s path crossed that of yet another stray kitty roaming the streets. This little girl got right up on Jon’s shoulder and stayed there for the entire car ride to BARCS. She’s been named Penny, and Jon seems quite smitten. I wouldn’t be surprised if his kitty count reaches four very soon!
You weren’t kidding when you said you’re always willing to help when asked. Just last week BARCS auctioned off a date with you. How much did you go for?
The one-on-one date went for $370. And then they are going to do a group date for $50 a person. I expect we’ll get a lot of people. The money being raised goes into the Franky Fund. Whatever helps the animals.
Would you date a girl who didn’t like cats?
She would have to have a lot of other good qualities and not be allergic. My cats can turn anyone into a cat lover.
To learn more about BARCS or to make a donation, visit their website.