Neurosurgeon to the Rescue

While neurosurgeon Jeffrey Dembner, M.D., has performed countless complicated brain and spinal surgeries and saved hundreds of lives, it was his rescue of a stranded kitten that one Dana Drive resident will always remember.

That’s because the kitten in distress was hers.

Dr. Jeffrey Dembner was driving out of the NorthBay Medical Center onto B. Gale Wilson Boulevard in February when he spotted the black and white kitten on a retaining wall. “I thought, is that cat OK? I came to the conclusion that he was stuck.”

So he turned his vehicle around and enlisted the help of a NorthBay employee who helped coax the kitten closer. Dr. Dembner climbed a stoop next to the wall and grabbed him. “I thought if I set him down, he’d just trot home. But he just sat there staring at me.”

The kitten obviously belonged to someone. It was healthy and wearing a collar. And, it reminded him of how he stumbled upon his own pet, a cat he calls simply “Cat.” He rescued Cat from the plastic bag he had been dumped in outside his office in Newport Beach.

Dr. Dembner took the kitten home and posted flyers in the neighborhood the next day, hoping the owner would call. “I mentioned it to Security Supervisor Deborah Candate. A few days later, she spotted a woman who seemed to be looking for something,” he says. “She turned out to be the cat’s owner.”

The security guard showed her the poster with Dr. Dembner’s office number, and the next day she called. “The woman had two small children, and they were delighted to get their kitten back,” He recalls. “I did warn her, though—that kitten likes to climb. You might want to keep him inside.”

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