A gray tabby cat named Lucipurr that went missing after escaping from her owner’s camper van aboard a Steamship Authority ferry has been found after more than two months of searching.
Initially, a missing cat bulletin was posted on Islanders Talk, and signs could be seen around Vineyard Haven offering a $500 reward for anyone who could find Lucipurr and return her to her owner, Danielle Jenkins.
Before being found recently by West Tisbury resident Carolina Cooney, the cat was last seen on June 24 on board the Island Home ferry headed to Vineyard Haven.
In an email to The Times, Jenkins wrote that she had been traveling around the country in her camper van for several months with her cat and dog. She hopped on the ferry, and was headed to the Island to visit, and never expected that her cat would somehow escape. “I ended up staying on the Vineyard for the [better] part of a month looking for her, before I eventually had to hope for the best and begin the drive west back to California,” Jenkins wrote.
As Jenkins was entering Colorado, she got a call from Cooney, who said she thought she recognized the cat from the flyers that were posted around town.
Cooney and her family set a trap for the cat (courtesy of West Tisbury animal control) and after having to release two skunks that were caught in the trap, Cooney caught Lucipurr and generously brought her into her home to care for her.
Speaking to The Times by phone Tuesday, Cooney said, “It was a very exciting week” for her family. The saga started with her sons making it their mission to find the missing cross-eyed tabby cat they saw on a flyer.
“I was doing dishes when I saw a gray cat in my backyard. I called my boy over and he immediately recognized the cross-eyed cat and knew it must be Lucipurr,” Cooney laughed.
Cooney called the animal control officer, who gave her a trap and advised her to use bacon grease to cajole the cat into the cage.
After several days with no luck, Lucipurr appeared in the trap one morning, much to the delight of Cooney and her sons.
“We put out a litter box, along with some food and water, and she scarfed down the whole bowl of food. It was really incredible to have found her,” Cooney said.
Jenkins’ parents traveled from Boston to the Vineyard the very next day, and are now holding onto the cat until Jenkins can retrieve her.
“The $500 reward was paid in full, and was worth every penny 10 times over!” Jenkins wrote.
Although Lucipurr is very underweight, Jenkins wrote that she is in “great spirits, eating voraciously, and purring constantly.”
Jenkins thanked Cooney and her sons Dashiell and Dexter for their determination and kindness, the captain and staff of the Island Home for letting her search the ship, the Tisbury Police “for kindly tolerating [her] late night wanderings and mild parking violations” while looking around town, and the staff at UPS, who printed flyers for the missing cat.