The good news that Buddy (AKA Big Sexy), the FDNY calendar cat who went missing from Manhattan during a photo shoot on January 20, hit social media that the cat has been found safe on Staten Island. He’s back home with his ‘mom’ but how he traveled there is anyone’s guess.
This PoC article covered Buddy’s (his real name) disappearance after he was spooked during a photo shoot. Despite owner Leslie Silbert calling out to Buddy and the firefighters going under the rigs with thermal imaging cameras looking for the cat, Buddy was gone.
Somehow Buddy ended up in the backyard of Michele Froehlich-Perosi whose ex-firefighter husband died of cancer related to 9/11 in 2018. Michele, who has several cats of her own plus she feeds a colony of feral cats, described finding Buddy during an interview with New York Daily News
“I noticed him a week or two ago. His eyes were very clear and bright. His fur was shiny. He didn’t look like a feral cat. He looked like a stray.”
Leslie plans to return the favor to Michele by spreading the word about the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund running out.
“I will try to return the favor to Buddy’s finder, an FDNY widow, by urging viewers–in honor of her husband and our reunion–to call their Congresspeople about the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund running out.”
Michele texted a picture of Buddy to Michele. When the two women got on the speakerphone, Buddy responded to his name and his mom’s voice.
On Thursday night Leslie traveled to Staten Island for the reunion. Once the two arrived back in Manhatten, Leslie says Buddy kept her up all night wanting to talk, snuggle, and be fed small meals. He didn’t let her out of his sight.
Despite the cat looking like Buddy and acting like Buddy, Leslie wasn’t 100 percent convinced until she took him to a veterinarian on Friday and the microchip matched up with a pet database. Everyone cheered when she showed the staff the news front page of when Big Sexy went missing.
Friday was filled with another picture-taking session, this time to welcome Buddy back home. Their weekend will most like be spent doing interviews.
Buddy’s return is another happy ending where microchipping and social media played a major part. What are the odds that Buddy would survive a trip from Manhattan to Staten Island and take up residence in a yard where he’d be found by a cat lover who also feeds feral and knew Buddy wasn’t a feral?
Did Buddy cross the bridge to get to Staten Island or did he take the ferry? If only cats could talk!