Meg Liberatore heard a tapping noise coming from her neighbor, Charlie Beehler’s, apartment every morning and never knew what it was, until three years later after Beehler was hit and killed in April. Liberatore of Gloucester TWP, had always wondered what the noise was, but after the accident when she started going to his apartment to help look in on his cats, she figured out. All those mornings, that banging noise was the sound of Beehler feeding his cats. He was dishing out food to his “babies.” That was exactly what they were to him, his babies, since he never had any kids.
Beehler had six cats that lived inside with him, as well as he took care of other cats outside, strays, and every one of them meant everything to him. Every morning at 6 a.m., Beehler was up feeding his cats, Liberatore recalls. She had been his neighbor at two separate apartment complexes and now, she was stepping in to help take care of his pets. The cats will need new, permanent homes and she, along with neighbors and volunteers with Save the Animals Foundation, are helping to search for permanent homes for Jasmine, Snowball, Mousy, Precious, Angel, and Smokey.
On April 30, Beehler was struck by a car driven by a resident of Mount Ephraim, 35 year old Dana Harper, on Black Horse Pike, according to Gloucester Township Police Department. The officers who responded to the scene, say they found 55 year old Beehler lying on the side of the road with a serious head injury and he died at the scene. Beehler was hit by Harper when he got off a bus that ddropped him off in his apartment’s parking lot. He had taken the bus to Heritage and Family dollar to buy a new TV remote. He had also stopped to see an old neighbor and drop off a loaf of bread he’d purchased at the bakery. The accident is still be investigated and there have been no charges filed, as of yet.
The Liberatores lived above Beehler and his 16-year partner, Martha for three years at a different apartment complex. Beehler was very excited about moving into the Foxcroft complex where the Liberatores had also recently moved. Just the day before, on April 29, the Liberatores had helped Beehler move in and now, two months later, his apartment remains all boxed up.
As far as Beehler’s cats go, they have all been taken to a couple’s garage in Woodbury while Save the Animals, along with another one of Beehler’s neighbors, Jennifer Andersch, are busy looking for new families for the cats, who are all approximately 4-6 years old. A volunteer of Save the Animals, Joab Bullock, commented, saying that they are all animal lovers and want to help find new families for all of his babies. The Woodbury couple, Michele and Paul Gransden, who are taking care of Beehler’s cats now, are caring for the cats in their garage and the supplies to care for them – litter, toys and the food, have all been donated. In an interview, Bullock said, “We want Charlie to rest in peace because these cats were his babies,” Bullock said.