Amazing news for those of you who spent the weekend's back-to-back slushstorms wringing your hands over the unknown fate of local cat celebrity Big Sexy: After a very big adventure, this silky boy finally made it home, before the snow even started to fall.
If you somehow missed the media call to arms, Big Sexy—given name: Buddy, but dubbed Big Sexy for his impressive size (12 pounds, hell yes) and his sleekly luxuriant coat, I mean just look at him—went missing during an FDNY calendar shoot at a firehouse in the Financial District on January 20th. He had booked this job before and proved to be an excellent model: surely you have seen the photos of this beautiful beastie draped across a shirtless fireman's shoulders.
During his second shoot, though, something spooked him. Big Sexy's human, Leslie Silbert, told the Huffington Post that he "leapt right out of [her] grasp" and scampered under a truck, mysteriously disappearing from set—a real locked room mystery, as all the doors to had been closed for the shoot.
Silbert, an author and private investigator, tried everything she could think of to bring Big Sexy home. She enlisted a feline-sniffing golden retriever; she set out snack-baited traps; she put up posters; she camped out in parking garages, calling Big Sexy's name and proffering enticing sardines, she told HuffPo. Nothing worked—except maybe the media attention.
On Thursday, Silbert received a tip from a Staten Island woman named Michele Froehlich-Perosi, who had recently noticed a cat bearing an uncanny resemblance to Silbert's—long shiny fur, big bright eyes, fluffy feather-duster tail—scrounging around her backyard. Froehlich-Perosi put Silbert on speaker phone when Big Sexy showed up: Twice she called out his name, and twice he yowled in recognition. After Silbert collected him, she scanned his microchip to confirm: Big Sexy was back, a little bit skinnier due to his time scavenging in the streets, but sexy as ever.
Silbert has no idea how Big Sexy found his way to Staten Island—did he take to the sea, and by choice or by force?—but she finds it fortuitous that he wound up where he did: Froehlich-Perosi's late husband, you see, was an FDNY firefighter who died last year, from 9/11-related cancer. "We believe he guided us to each other," Silbert told Pix 11 of the FDNY connection.
Since the reunion with his human, Big Sexy has reportedly been demanding non-stop pets, which I think is his right after such an ordeal. Anyway, keep an eye out for Big Sexy's charitable debut in the FDNY EMT's 2020 Calendar of Heroes.