When Long Island resident Stefanie Whitley’s doorbell rang in the middle of the night, she never could’ve expected who she’d find.
On Sunday, Aug. 14, about a week after Whitley’s 8-year-old cat Lilly went missing from their home, the friendly feline walked right up to the Mastic Beach residence and stuck her face in their doorbell security camera. Watch a video of the happy homecoming here, or by clicking on the second image above.
Whitley said since her family adopted Lilly, the family has moved about four times. They were at their previous home for about four years, so Lilly knew their old neighborhood well.
The family was keeping Lilly inside after the move because it takes cats time to get acclimated to a new neighborhood, she said.
However, the week after the move, Lilly found her way outside and disappeared.
“Lilly always comes home,” Whitley said. “She’s a very smart cat. She responds to her name. You call her, she comes. I’ve never felt like she would not come home. But this particular time felt different.”
They looked for her for days, and Whitley and her children began to lose hope that they would ever see their beloved cat again, as they had already suffered the losses of two other pets the year before.
Whitley’s home is equipped with Alexa devices and Ring cameras, so they receive notifications when someone enters their property on TV screens throughout their house.
At about 10 p.m. on Aug. 14, the family saw Lilly’s face fill the screen as she puts her paw up above the camera and starts meowing.
“The last thing in this world we ever expected to see was a cat’s face in the camera," Whitley laughed. "And it’s our cat who has been missing and returned home."
Lilly jumped through the doorway when they opened the front door, and everyone was so relieved to have her back home.
“We’re ecstatic and we’re so happy she’s home,” she said. “We love her. She's back to kissing us at nighttime when we’re sleeping because she’s sour by day and sweet by night. I tell everybody she’s a Sour Patch Kid.”
Whitley said she’s sure Lilly knew what she was doing when she rang the doorbell because whenever they receive a notification that someone is at the house, the cat looks right at the front door as if she’s wondering who has arrived.
She also hopes her story will bring hope to others who have lost their pets.
“This is a success story for us, and she came home," she said. "Maybe somebody else’s furbaby will come. I just wanted to give other people hope that if you’ve got a camera, keep checking your camera. Keep hope."
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