Piper, the Atlanta Beltline cat

by Katherine on March 3, 2013

If you’re one of my human friends, chances are you know that I’ve recently taken up running. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but needed a few pushes in the right direction to get started. Luckily for me, those little nudges have already happened, and, from my new running adventures, I’ve been lucky enough to meet Piper, the Atlanta Beltline cat.

reebok runtone running shooes

I’ve been actually logging miles on my runtones now.

Single Volunteers Atlanta is gearing up for two 5K’s, the Hunger Walk/Run on March 10 and the Color Run on April 6 (join us!). I need to train up for such events, so I finally decided to check out the Atlanta Beltline. The Beltline is a new trail around the city of Atlanta that follows the railroad tracks. It’s a gorgeous trail, a brand new initiative, and an amazing place for cyclists, walkers, runners, families, skaters (there’s a small skate park there), and more. Every time I’ve gone, I’ve seen at least 10 dogs while on my 3.1 mile runs (5K training!) with friends.

One day, upon entering at the 10th and Monroe entrance and about halfway through my course, I found Piper, the Atlanta Beltline kitty. At first, I thought she was just a stray, and was going to take her with me. I also thought she had been fighting, as one ear appeared to be injured. Upon closer inspection, I found that the nick in her ear was a spay and release marker, and that she was actually well cared for,  complete with provided food and even a mailbox:

Piper, the stray black cat of the Atlanta Beltline

Piper receives fun little messages from fans in her little mailbox, as well as food donations in her bowls.

Piper has warm blankets in the two large pipes that she uses as beds, plenty of food and water, and many adoring fans that stop by to say hello. While she doesn’t enjoy being picked up, she does enjoy when a calm, patient person hangs out long enough for her to let them pet her.

Piper the Atlanta Beltline cat sits on her perch

From this angle, you can see Piper’s name on her mailbox as well as a few of her fan letters.

I would love to give Piper a forever home, but as we already have quite a busy house, and she isn’t a fan of being picked up, I doubt I could bring her to casa de Arie. However, as the general life of stray cats isn’t usually that great, Piper seems to be doing fairly well for herself and has become a Beltline staple. Many people take notice of this darling black cat (so much like the cats from Life with Arie!), so much so that she’s appeared on Tumblr, Incurably Stir Crazy, and even CNN.

Want to learn more about Piper? I’ll be sure to mention her in future posts. You can also check her out on Twitter!

Are there any neighborhood-adopted strays in your area?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristine March 4, 2013 at 10:47 am

What a terrific story! I love the little mailbox. Even though Piper is not necessarily living the best life possible it looks like she is well cared for and as happy as she can be given her circumstances. It’s very cool how many people care enough about her to put in all the effort. Seeing her would be motivation to hit the trails for sure.

Congratulations on your running venture! I am such an on-again/off-again runner these days and feel quite ashamed. Especially since I have a big race of my own coming up in May. I wish I had a Beltline Kitty to keep me going!


Drew March 5, 2013 at 11:08 am

I met Piper by accident just yesterday and she is as sweet and friendly as can be. Please someone find her a home!


Katherine Katherine March 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm

She is a sweet girl. I do hope that she either finds a forever home or that people continue to provide for her on the beltline.


Jodi March 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm

What a nice story and it’s heartwarming to hear that people are taking care of her. Too often I hear such sad stories about strays.

Good luck with your training!


Katherine Katherine March 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Thanks, Jodi! It is nice to see a stray being cared for. Piper was fairly used to humans now as well; she let me pet her.


Bebe June 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Living as a stray, no matter how much people bestow food, water, strange plants, this cat’s life will be cut to about 1/3 of the normal life expectancy, if that long. This is a DRAINAGE PIPE the cat is living in. When there are heavy rains, the pipe diverts run off. Where does Piper go then? Not to even mention the viruses and bacteria the cat will encounter – who takes the cat to the vet for medical help? And, face it, there are people who are using stray cats for target practiced. Black cats, especially, are victims of the most horrendous abuse and violence. I hope someone will be brave and compassionate enough to give this cat a loving, safe home.


Katherine Katherine June 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

With two black cats of my own and a huge heart for strays, I completely understand where you’re coming from Bebe. I’m not saying that Piper is living in the most ideal of situations, just telling her story and how the community has come together on the Beltline for this lovely little lady. Thanks for speaking up for the strays; it’s great to see someone with your passion.


Bebe July 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Have been off the computer for a while so just heard that Piper, the Belt Line kitty is gone …. to a permanent home. Apparently the property on which the drainage pipe and and Piper’s home was located was given/sold to a developer (How like Atlanta!). Hopefully Piper is now truly safe and happy.


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