LARGO (FOX 13) - A Bay area family who thought they had lost their cat forever during Hurricane Irma was just reunited with him.
Oscar the cat spent a month on his own before being returned to his family in Largo. He had run off just before Irma hit.
“If he could only talk, he'd tell me a big story about a huge adventure,” said owner Lisa Marie Begall.
That adventure started days before Irma arrived in Florida. The Begall family, who moved thousands of miles from Berlin, Germany to Largo to open an RV rental business, was preparing to evacuate their home. They filled an RV with supplies and set off.
Oscar was with them -- but not for long.
“[At] the last pit stop on beach access at Navarre Beach 37A, Oscar hopped out of the RV and ran on the beach trail to the ocean,” said Begall.
They searched, but there was no sign of him. The 3-year-old rescue was gone.
“The intention of taking him was to save his life, and it felt like he lost his life,” Begall continued.
As part of a last-ditch effort, the family turned to Facebook.
“[On] Wednesday last week, I received a picture as a text message. I couldn't say anything. I just showed Lena my phone and she screamed 'Oscar!'” Begall recalled.
A woman who saw the posts tracked Oscar down, and found that a neighbor living near the beach was feeding him.
“It felt like having a teenager coming home drunk for the first time,” Begall said.
Oscar is back home now -- happy and healthy.