A day in the life of a police officer can be highly unpredictable.
For one University of Texas Police at Houston (UT Police) officer, a routine patrol through the MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Mid-Campus parking garage resulted in an experience that the self-proclaimed animal lover will remember for years to come.
“I was approached by an employee, who informed me that several other employees were trying to catch a kitten that was roaming on the fifth level of the garage,” said Officer Alondra Jones. “I went to assist the employees who had cornered the kitten behind a pillar, but when I tried to grab the kitten, it ran away.”
Jones, a nine-year employee of UT Police with four of those years as a commissioned officer, did not stop there.
“It was literally holding itself up by clawing to the walls,” said Jones, who added that the kitten's actions were unlike anything she had seen before.
Just as an officer’s day can be unpredictable, it can also be very busy. Jones left the garage to respond to more pressing calls, but she was unable to forget about the kitten she left behind. Before returning to the garage she stopped at a nearby store where she purchased kitten food and a bowl for water.
Now alone in her pursuit, she sat out the food and water. The kitten didn't budge.
With a lot of patience -- and the help of a passing employee -- they were finally able to reach the kitten.
Jones fed the kitten and personally delivered it to the BARC Houston Animal Shelter after learning the organization was unable to pick up the animal.
“I am a firm believer that even the smallest of actions can make a difference,” said Jones.
UT Police Assistant Chief Paul Cross, who oversees uniformed police operations, agreed.
“This was a show of compassion and that is exactly what good officers are made of,” said Cross. “We have a duty to care about the things our community cares about and I applaud Officer Jones’ tenacity in finding a solution for those who asked for her help.”
Although Officer Jones’ actions reflect those of a cat enthusiast who might own a cat of her own, that is not the case.
“I’m definitely a dog person,” said Jones, who spoke proudly of her family’s two adopted dogs as one would about children. “But, I do like cats."