Employees Rescue Kitten in UC Medical Center Parking Garage

By Rosie Ecker

 A typical Tuesday morning for Theresa Hunter turned not-so-normal when she heard a sound coming from a car parked on the fourth floor of the North Garage.

Theresa, director of laboratory services, listened for the sound again and realized she was hearing the cries of a kitten. The kitten had hitched a ride under the car of another UC Health employee and seemed to be very frightened.

The program manager for the University of Cincinnati Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute, and the executive administrative director for the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, were close by, and together with Theresa, the three sprang into action.
On hands and knees with flashlights in tow, the three searched under the car to locate the kitten.

Unconvinced that the UC Health team meant no harm, the kitten moved to another car and eluded all who came in shifts to help over the course of the morning.
A quick-handed Lance Cruey, laboratory services, was ultimately able to rescue the frightened kitten, which, naturally, went by “Cruey” the rest of the afternoon. Soon after, however, Cruey was given a new name—Pride—in honor of UC Health’s values (abbreviated as “PRIIDE”) and the team that came together to ensure a safe outcome for such a tiny, unlikely visitor.

Theresa and her wife, Jeannette Trifillis, patient relations, took Pride home to be cleaned up and readied for adoption.

The couple fostered Pride for about two months, during which they were actively looking for his permanent owner.

Recently at a lab job fair with assistance from human resources, it was discovered UC Health recruiter, Jessica Conroy, was looking to add to her fur family. When she saw the pictures of Pride, she said “yes” to adoption immediately.

Pride—now Skittles—is now happily in his forever home with Jessica.

Sana Rockwell, director of patient relations at UC Medical Center, said, “This is human kindness. Empathy isn’t something you can teach. Empathy here at UC Health extends beyond our patients.”

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