MANHATTAN — Leslie Silbert has been reunited with her furry best friend, Buddy, and if the cat could talk, he would have quite the story to tell.
“The first night he was back home, he was clingy and wanted to be pet all night,” Silbert told PIX11 from her Manhattan home Saturday.
Silbert nicknamed the furry feline “Big Sexy” after adopting him in 2017 from Animal Care Centers of NYC.
“Every time I would sit to watch TV, he would snuggle up with me,” she said.
Back in January, the fluffy, black cat with golden eyes, was chosen to be in a photo shoot with members of FDNY for an upcoming calendar.
The photo shoot took place at a firehouse in lower Manhattan. Buddy went, but then quickly disappeared.
“He bolted underneath the truck. I was sure he’d come out within hour… after he got hungry,” Silbert said.
But he didn’t.
“People kept believing I would find him. I didn’t give up,” said the loyal pet parent.
“Big Sexy” quickly made headlines, and all out search for him began. Weeks after fleeing the firehouse, the cat somehow made it to Staten Island.
“I joke with friends maybe he treated himself to a scenic ferry ride,” said Silbert.
Ironically, he ended up in the yard of a Staten Island woman with an FDNY connection.
“Her husband was a firefighter who recently died of a World Trade Center related cancer. We believe he guided us to each other,” said Silbert.
The woman contacted the Silbert through Lost and Found Pets of Staten Island and after a nearly six-week adventure, “Big Sexy” is finally back home.
As a way to say thank you to the woman who helped bring Buddy back home, Silbert is going to contribute to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and do whatever she can to keep it funded.