LI Cat Lost For 3 Months Home Safe: ‘The Reunion Was Beautiful’

NORTH FORK, NY — It was an early Thanksgiving miracle for the family of a little lost cat, blind in one eye, who’d been missing since August and was found last week by two caring children who helped bring her home safely.

Back in August, Catherine Bosco posted on Facebook for a friend who told her she’d lost her cat in the Peconic or Southold area.

“The last sighting was on Sound Avenue,” she wrote.

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Reese’s, who was wearing a red collar with a bell, was believed to have been hiding in the undercarriage of the family car while her family was traveling west — and fell or jumped from the vehicle.

A dedicated North Fork community searched, shared flyers, and prayed — but Reese’s was never found.

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Until last week when Cindy Sepenoski and her children helped to bring the lost orange-and-black cat home for the holidays.

“My son and I pulled in the driveway around 5:10 pm on Friday night and Mark, 11, heard a cat purring,” Sepenoski said. “I said, ‘Let’s go see if we can find the cat!'”

The cat, she said, came right up to them.

“Mark sat with the cat on his lap for a while in the garage, petting the cat,” Sepenoski said. A little while later her daughter Sophie, 8, “went out to join in the fun with this new cute cat dropping by,” she said. “We just had a neighbor down the road last weekend drop off a flyer for their missing cat — and that cat was found. So, I figured, why not snap a few pictures and make a post quickly, in case someone in the area was searching for their cat?Especially with the drop in temperature so suddenly.”

Also, Sepenoski said, “This cat was so friendly, we knew it must belong to someone.”

Within an hour after posting, Sepenoski said she had a series of missed calls from Bosco, who had been trying since August to help her friend find her missing four-footed friend. “I thought she was calling me because I’d won the weekly prize in our football pool!” Sepenoski laughed.

In the meantime, her family dog, a friendly yellow Lab, went outside and scared Reese’s out of their yard into the woods.

That’s when Catherine and I connected on the phone and she told me that the cat’s description really matched Reese’s and asked if I could try to get her. Catherine did not want to get her friend’s hopes up if we didn’t have the cat. “

Her kids, she said, took the mission very seriously. They took off searching while she ran across the street and got cat food.

“Reese’s went into the thick woods and was really hiding,” Sepenoski said. “Mark was the one who sat in the woods and got Reese’s in his lap, luring her with dry food. Reese’s definitely was hungry and happy to have food. This allowed me to get Reese’s and carry her to my car, where we locked her inside.”

Next, Sepenoski called Bosco and told her that they had Reese’s.

“Mark and Reese’s happily watched about an hour of the movie ‘Beethoven,’ wrapped in blankets in my heated car,” she said. “I snapped tons of pictures and sent them to Catherine. Next thing I know I get a call from Reese’s owner. She really thought that this was her cat, who was lost 3 months ago. She told me she would be at my house in an hour.”

And then came the moment that happy endings are made of: “The reunion was beautiful,” Sepenoski said. “The cat was very vocal when the owner started to talk to her — lots of cat noises. We were actually in the driveway with Reese’s when we saw the first snowflakes falling.”

Sepenoski added: “I am so proud of my kids for sticking out this search in the dark and the cold woods. My kids and I are so happy that Reese’s was rescued right as the temperature dropped.”

Mark was thrilled to have been part of the rescue. “I feel great because I saved a cat,” he said.

Sophie added: “I feel good and kind and helpful. I am glad she’s home in her warm little bed.”

Sepenoski was also grateful that Bosco put the pieces together at just the right time.

Strangers, she said, reached out to reward her children, who were just happy to have helped reunite the little lost cat with her family.

Also helping in the rescue were Wendy Lechner, Virginia Scudder of North Fork Country Kids: Rescue and Preservation through Pedagogy, the Catapano family, and Amanda and Toby Wesnofseke, who also were part of the outpouring of caring.

“Cindy sharing Reese’s on social media is what got her home,” said Lechner. “Hopefully this will encourage people to share — so other lost pets can get back safely to their families.”

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