In a heartwarming and against-the-odds story, a loose cat was rescued by a Sayville resident and reunited with its parents from Florida, who were in the local area for vacation.
Debra Reines, a certified lone cat whisperer now, was approached by a couple in a car while she was getting into her vehicle on Sunday, July 3.
The strangers told her they had been hopelessly searching for their beloved black cat, named Luna, for the past few days in the Sayville area.
The couple was going to go on the ferry and parked in the Sayville Ferry Service parking lot, where Luna coyly slipped out of her harness and ran into the adjacent, dense wetlands.
Unfortunately, Cameron, the actual owner of Luna, and his partner had to go back to Miami and could no longer continue their search.
Exacerbating the anxiety and fear was that 3-year-old Luna was an indoor-only cat and not used to being outside. In addition, being from Miami, her owners feared her braving a New York winter.
“I told them I would search for their cat,” said Reines to the sobbing couple as they set South.
Reines asked for two pieces of clothing with the owners’ scents and also posted laminated flyers of the missing black cat.
Reines was able to solicit the help of her friends, neighbors, and other animal-lovers to search for Luna and would call her every morning, afternoon, and evening.
Reines even employed her partner to call Luna thrice a day, thinking that hearing a male voice would make Luna more comfortable to come onto the property.
On July 10, a week after Reines began searching for Luna, there was a break in the missing feline case when a neighbor called and said they spotted a black cat that ran underneath their house into the crawlspace.
A young woman in the area, who had seen the posters of Luna, ran underneath into the crawlspace.
“We were climbing on rocks with mud underneath, big pipes on our backs, but we couldn’t get her,” said Reines.
Eventually, Reines devised a trap to lure Luna, utilizing the clothes from Cameron as well as some food.
Reines set the trap at around 8 p.m. at night and checked on it hourly.
At 4:30 a.m., with her flashlight, Reines found Luna in the trap, incredibly dirty, but seemingly safe and sound from her extended vacation in wilds of Sayville.
“I took a picture of her and sent it to Cameron with the caption, ‘Hi Daddy, can you come and get me?’”
His reply was, “I am changing the oil in my car and will be there as soon as possible.”
Within one hour, Cameron was on the road from Miami to come back to Sayville and retrieve Luna.
He drove for 24 hours straight to the South Shore.
Crying, hugging, and rocking Luna, Cameron said, “You have been a bad girl.”
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