Richard Zablauskas’s cat was stuck in a tree—a tree that belonged to his neighbors, who he believed were Russian spies.
It was the early ’90s, and the 50-year-old resident of Riverdale—an upscale part of the Bronx in New York City—went to get some help. His cat, Frizbee, was perched on a limb hanging over Russia’s residency for the Permanent Mission to the United Nations—a drab, Soviet-style building surrounded by a large fence, a metal wall and coils of barbed wire.
Zablauskas asked the guards at the residency to let him in—and they refused. But when he returned with a ladder, they relented, allowing him to lean it against the fence and climb up to pluck Frizbee out of the tree. Looking down from the ladder, cat in hand, Zablauskas watched as children and mothers inside the compound stared up in disbelief. “Their security folks know exactly who every single person is in …