Stray Cat Pays Tribute to Fallen Officer

Cathy Salustri

Stray Cat Pays Tribute to Fallen Officer

Photo courtesy of Officer Brian “Bubba” Bilbrey.

ST. PETERSBURG –   On February 21, on the second anniversary of St. Petersburg Police Officer David Crawford’s murder, his squad gathered at Demen’s landing to remember their fallen brother.

They had another visitor that night.

To understand why this visitor meant so much to the squad, first understand Officer Crawford. He loved cats, according to his partner of over 16 years, Stu Crisco.

“Dave was a big cat lover. You would look at Dave and assume he was a big mountain type of a man and you would have thought he had dogs, but he had cats,” the retired police officer said. “If someone brought him one, he would not have turned it away. He was just a big cat lover; he liked cats.”

As the squad gathered around Officer Crawford’s memorial, a stray cat – not uncommon in downtown St. Petersburg – appeared.

But most stray cats don’t approach people downtown, Officer Crisco says. This one?

“It was just kind of an odd situation, because it laid down and kind of stared at the memorial” at the time of Officer Crawford’s death (10:35 p.m.).

“The cat just sat there for a couple of minutes and walked on off into the dark,” Officer Crisco says. “It was just kind of an odd, moving thing for us.”