NEW YORK — Molly the cat is finally free.
After two weeks stuck behind a brick wall in a 19th century building, the bashful 11-month-old feline was rescued from her plight Friday night by a volunteer who found her wedged in a crawl space between bricks and a piece of sheet metal.
At the end of the ordeal, the black cat emerged from the building lying in a metal cage — calm and docile as cameras flashed and onlookers cooed.
“I think you’ll all agree that she is in great shape,” said Peter Myers, who owns the delicatessen housed in the building and kept Molly in his store to catch mice.
Her first meal? Nibbles of roasted pork, sardines in oil and water, Myers said.
Hearty fare, but perhaps not surprising for a feline who spends her time in Myers of Keswick, a deli specializing in meat pies, clotted cream and other British food specialties.
Molly’s ordeal became international news this week as reporters and onlookers gathered to hear her distressed meows. Rescuers drilled and hammered out bricks in the cellar of the 157-year-old building and tried everything from special cameras to traps to get her out.
They even tried using kittens as bait to appeal to Molly’s maternal side. A pet psychic and self-described “cat therapist” offered their aid. But it appeared that good, old-fashioned elbow grease ended up doing the job.
Rescuers drilled a hole in the wall from inside the store, cutting through three layers of brick to get to Molly, said Mike Pastore, field director for Animal Care & Control, a private organization with a city contract to handle lost, injured and unwanted animals.
She was finally retrieved by a tunnel worker who was working on a project nearby and has been volunteering for the rescue effort.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.