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Cat hoarder evicted • Brooklyn Paper

Cat hoarder evicted

Barbara Berger’s cats have names like Jake, Yoshi, Montgomery and Caca.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

It’s a cat-tastrophe!

A cat hoarder who once claimed that she would rather be homeless than part with her 45 kitties has been evicted from her Brighton Beach apartment — even after she took drastic steps to downsize her massive colony of kitties.

Barbara Berger said she never wanted to part with her four-legged friends, but reversed course when she was given a court-ordered deadline to get rid of all but two of the cats that roamed her tiny one-bedroom apartment by May 13.

Berger — who pays just $153 a month for her rent-stabilized home — whittled her brood down to a black cat named Elvira she found hiding underneath a shopping cart in Sheepshead Bay and a shy Calico named Cali, but not by the deadline, according to her friend and legal advisor Andrew Kent. Berger has to move out of her Coney Island Avenue apartment by July 31, Kent said.

“If she doesn’t find a new apartment she could wind up homeless,” Kent said.

Berger says she doesn’t know where she will go.

“I need to find a new home,” she said. “I’m really disappointed.”

Berger moved into her apartment near Neptune Avenue with just 15 cats in 2007 but the number quickly grew to 45 as she took in strays from the street and accepted unwanted kittens from neighbors and friends. Her landlord, Herald Realty Group, threaten to evict her if she didn’t get rid of her cats.

Berger unloaded her pets with the help of Petco and the Brooklyn Rescue Umbrella, whose founder put 22 of the cats up for adoption before having a falling out with Berger last month.

Berger said she gave the rest of her cats away to friends.

“I felt so bad for them all of them,” Berger said. “I didn’t want to give up my cats.”

Herald Realty Group did not return calls seeking comment.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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