top of page
Our project at 6th and San Julian is in the heart of Skid Row. There’s open drug use, people fighting, profanities all the time. It’s hard to see how people are living out here.
There's a handful of people I see daily, and I have small conversations here and there with core locals who have been on the street for quite some time. This gentleman named Perry came up to me one day and said “Hey, man, we’ve got cats in the building you’re demoing. You’ve got to save them.” I told him there wasn’t much we could do — we didn’t have a budget for pest control.
Next thing I know, I’m getting a call from an L.A. city councilor’s office. “Our concerned friend Perry said you have cats and kittens in the building. We’ve got to save those cats, my friend.” I said, “You’ve got it, sir.” I told my team that we’ve got to get the cats out before the building comes down.
It was a mad dash after we got that phone call.
I facilitated phone calls between Perry and the security company so Perry could shadow the security guard at night when we were setting up the traps for the cats. Then, I would go around with him in the morning to all the small areas, looking for cats and kittens in the corners. We saved seven of them and got them to local shelters. They all got rescued after that. It was a mad dash after we got that phone call.
After we saved the cats, the city gave me an award. I was like, “What? Are you serious?” It’s a big certificate on good stationery, so I got it framed and it's in the office. Some of the people at the site know me because of this now. “Hey, it’s the kitty man.” Perry still calls me every other day. He told me recently he got word that there was a pregnant cat running around here, and there might be kittens running around the jobsite. I told him, you know what we’ll do. Let’s take a walk around.
Erik Mihovan is an assistant superintendent at Suffolk’s 6th and San Julian project, which is best known as the site of the “Skid Row City Limits” mural and will soon be home to affordable housing for very-low-income households. Despite evidence to the contrary, he is not a cat person.
bottom of page