Cat hoarder to landlord: You gotta be kitten me!

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A Brighton Beach cat hoarder about to be booted from her rent-controlled apartment for refusing to get rid of 43 of her 45 cats was given a stay of execution last week — but the cat lover now insists that two kitties isn’t enough to scratch her itch for the four-legged fuzz balls, and plans to move out on her own.

“I still want to keep 10 cats,” explained Barbara Berger, 51, who says she will leave her $153 apartment in May. “I’m getting railroaded.”

During a housing court hearing on March 14, Berger’s landlord said she could stay at her Coney Island Avenue apartment for another two months as long as she continues to unload her pride of felines.

Herald Realty Group took steps to evict Berger from her apartment near Neptune Avenue in December if she didn’t remove all but two of her cats, but Berger, with the help of the Brooklyn Rescue Umbrella group and Petco, managed to put 22 of her pets up for adoption.

Yet Berger’s now saying that she would rather lose her apartment if she had to give up any more of her beloved felines, who have names like Yoshi, Montgomery, Blake, and Caca.

She says she will leave the apartment on her own, claiming that her landlord is forcing her out with its uncompromising, two-cat minimum.

“I was manipulated,” said Berger.

Berger moved into her city-subsidized apartment near Neptune Avenue with 15 cats in 2007, but said the number spiraled out of control as she took in strays off the street and accepted kittens from neighbors and friends.

Herald Realty Group declined to comment for this article. Calls to Berger’s lawyer weren’t returned by Monday evening.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at
Posted 12:00 am, March 21, 2012
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