Meet the new Ministry of Transport employee, Casimir the cat


Casimir, above, is named after the Casimir Pulaski Highway, or Interstate 65, where he was rescued on October 17.

GARY – At first he was literally a scary cat.

The cat sat alone on the barrier separating the two sides of the roadway. Cars drove past the little cat as he waited on the busy road.

Hoosier Helper Scott Brown approached the frightened feline, along with Indiana State Trooper Russell Hayes, according to Indiana State Police. When Brown picked up the cat, however, he melted into Brown’s arms. The cat was removed from the pavement and placed in a warmer environment in its new temporary home.

Casimir, a 5-month-old cat, was rescued Oct. 17 from Interstate 65 near 61st Avenue in Merrillville and was later brought to the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Borman Expressway Traffic Management Center in Gary. He has lived there ever since.

Casimir watches traffic patterns from a colleague’s lap, above.

Karen Douthett, an INDOT engineer and self-proclaimed feline, said Casimir lives in the traffic management center’s “radio room” because she is watched from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. She said he sleeps alone at night and is full of energy when staff arrive the next morning.

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“He’s been great here,” Douthett said. “He just wants to be social and play. He has no problem being picked up or moved around.”

Casimir, named after the Casimir Pulaski Memorial Highway, suffered burns to his tail, face and legs. Douthett said a vet who examined Casimir’s injuries thinks he may have been in the bonnet of a car when he suffered the burns. Part of his tail will have to be amputated, Douthett said.

Douthett created a GoFundMe on October 21 to help support Casimir’s upcoming operation on November 1. Within 24 hours, she raised more than the $500 needed to pay for her operation.

The rest of the funds will be saved for future vet bills, cat supplies and any other Casimir-related expenses, Douthett said.

Casimir enjoys snuggling up with an INDOT employee, left, and taking a nap at work, right.

After the operation, Casimir will recover between Douthett’s house and the house of another INDOT worker. He will return to residency at the Borman Expressway Traffic Management Center once healed, Douthett said. She doesn’t know if he will be put up for adoption or placed in another home anytime soon.

“We’re hoping to keep him here as long as he’s cleared to be here,” Douthett said. “As long as he’s a good boy.”

Anyone interested in donating to help Casimir can do so at gofundme.com, as part of the “Casimir the Cat” fundraiser. Follow his journey on Facebook.