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Miracle in Greenport: Missing Cat Found Alive, Well After Almost 3 Weeks

Scarlet is waiting to be reunited with her owner, who was injured in a car accident on the North Ferry almost three weeks ago.

After almost three weeks of searching, Scarlet, a cat who was lost after a car accident on the North Ferry in Greenport, has been found, alive and well.

"It's a miracle," said Joan Vecsey, the Shelter Island woman who has been searching for the cat tirelessly.

"We simply prayed and prayed that God would give us the wisdom to find this cat."

Vecsey said Sandra Quilles of Astoria, the cat's heartbroken owner was crying joyfully when she learned her cat had been found; a joyful reunion is sure to follow.

Vecsey said she worked with Debbie Spotteck of Shelter Island, a woman who helps to spay and neuter stray cats; Spotteck reached out to other experts who advised that Scarlett had most likely stayed nearby.

"We just did tons of detective work," Vecsey said; after speaking to scores of individuals, they learned that the cat had turned right after running off the ferry.

Rescue efforts were focused on the Blue Canoe area; another volunteer who feeds strays in Greenport also pitched in.

"It was like putting a puzzle together," Vecsey said. On Wednesday night, the volunteer heard a faint meow, Vecsey said; food was left by a makeshift cat house that had originally been left for a larger stray under the Greenport boardwalk.

In addition, tiny cat paw prints were spotted in the snow. 

"Scarlet found herself a nice, surrounded area," Vecsey said.

On Thursday morning, Vecsey said the volunteer went and called Scarlet, and the cat came right out.

"She didn't even have to trap her. She picked her right up," Vecsey said.

Scarlet was taken by Vecsey to the North Fork Animal Hospital on Shelter Island, and although the microchip was unable to confirm her identity, the cat, Vecsey said, fits Scarlett's description perfectly, down to the jagged edge on her ear. 

Scarlet, she said, is beautiful. "She's eating, not a stressed cat at all. She wants to go home."

The cat, however, is no longer the shy feline that got lost. "She's bold. She picked up some swagger while she was out," Vecsey laughed. "It's as if she's saying, 'I've been on the streets of Greenport."

Despite storm after storm, an onslaught of snow and ice and frigid temperatures, North Fork volunteers continued searching frantically for the lost black cat that went missing after a car accident on the ferry in Greenport almost three weeks ago.

Patch has also received calls and emails from other residents who spent time searching the area and leaving food out for the lost feline.

An elderly man and a passenger were injured after the motor vehicle accident onboard the North Ferry, police said.

Quilles, the passenger in the accident, who has since been released from Stony Brook Hospital, sustained fractured ribs and a fractured finger, as well as back injuries and damage to oral surgery she'd had only hours before the incident, she said.

But worst of all, Quilles said, was that her beloved cat has gone missing.

Sobbing, Quilles said Scarlet, an 11 lb., long-haired, very furry black cat with a fluffy black tail, greenish-gold eyes, a jagged edge to her ear, and a white stripe on her belly, escaped after her carrier was damaged in the accident. When the door to the car was opened, "She just ran out and no one grabbed her," Quilles said. "She just ran off the ferry."

Scarlett, Quilles said, is a very special cat, one she's had for four years, since adopting her from the Cat Assistance program in Westchester County.

"She had been beaten as a kitten and thrown out into the garbage," Quilles said. "She's been through so much. She's traumatized from what she went through, so she hides. She's always scared."

But with love, Quilles said, her cat blossomed. "She's a very special cat," she said. "She's very sweet."

According to Southold Town police, the accident took place when an elderly man, 85, of New York, was driving his 2006 Cadillac onto the ferry boat Manhasett out of Greenport and accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake, causing the vehicle to accelerate at a high rate of speed and strike the forward metal gunwale of the ferry. 

The force of the impact caused the vehicle to turn sideways; the rear bumper struck another vehicle that was already parked on the ferry, police said. 

The Cadillac sustained major damage and had to be towed off the ferry, and both the driver and passenger were taken to Eastern Long Island Hospital for treatment by Greenport rescue, police said.

The ferry also sustained damage and had to be taken out of commission until repairs could be made. 
Adele Cassone February 21, 2014 at 01:50 PM
I am so happy to hear this! Happy to know so many people took the time to look for scarlet. As an owner of two precious cats that I adopted as kittens over the summer, just in that short time they have become the loves of my life ( after my children) but it scares me to think that one false move could make me lose them but it's comforting to know that I live in a community that would take time out of their lives to help!!! My deepest thank you to all that helped and my sincerest happiness goes to scarlet and her owner!! This has made my day!
charles ritchie February 21, 2014 at 06:05 PM
The crew of the fireboat has been watching out for her and just knew she was in the area. We and Iggy (our ship's cat) are glad she was found, God bless her
Ditty51 February 21, 2014 at 07:39 PM
<<"We simply prayed and prayed that God would give us the wisdom to find this cat." >> SERIOUSLY?? If "God" was concerned about this cat, he wouldn't have "let" it get lost in the first place. If he can interfere by letting the cat be found -- then he can surely interfere by letting the cat NOT be lost. Jeez!
Heather Ruis February 21, 2014 at 07:45 PM
Thank God kitty was found :-)
Ditty51 February 21, 2014 at 07:48 PM
thank the volunteer that the kitty was found

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