The Park Slope cat owner who put up more than 1,000 fliers to track down his missing feline friend has been reunited with his beloved pet — and shower buddy.
Smoke the cat was found safe and sound in Red Hook on Sept. 8, a relieved Jim Greene told DNAinfo New York on Friday.
"We're beyond ecstatic," Greene said. "It's kind of hard to believe."
Smoke, a Russian blue cat with gray fur and a friendly demeanor, went missing July 27 from Greene's backyard on Sackett Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues.
The disappearance devastated Greene. He's had Smoke for more than 10 years and the two spend most of their waking hours side by side. Smoke even gets into the shower with Greene on occasion.
"He's like my right arm," Greene said of his whiskered buddy.
The six-week search was a roller coaster. Greene got at least 100 phone calls from people who thought they had seen Smoke. He visited Brooklyn's Animal Care & Control facility every three days and contacted every animal rescue group he could find.
Strangers sent him texts with encouraging messages such as, "Don’t give up. We’re thinking about you and Smoke. You’re going to find him."
Greene eventually put up 1,700 posters with Smoke's photo, including some in Spanish.
Greene said he never gave up hope, but his optimism started to wane as calls about possible Smoke sightings decreased in recent weeks.
On Sept. 8, a woman who feeds feral cats on Coffey and Van Brunt streets in Red Hook noticed a new visitor among her ragtag regulars. She texted a photo of the cat to her daughter, who goes to school in Park Slope and recognized Smoke from the posters.
Greene said he "fell apart" when he was finally reunited with Smoke. His old friend was thin and timid, but seemed to be in good health. A vet was scheduled to visit Smoke for an exam on Friday.
"Knowing that there can be a good ending is amazing," Greene said.
"I've learned a ton of lessons from this. Number 1, there's an immense amount of great people around here that came out of the woodwork and really wanted to see Smoke come home. I met a lot of neighbors I never knew before."
He added, "Another lesson I learned is, don't give up."