Lucie Bénévise and her husband, Devin Lane, moved last year from South Korea, where he had been stationed as a U.S. Army medic, to Georgia near Fort Stewart, WSAV in Savannah reported.
While living in Korea, Bénévise had adopted a kitten she named Cauliflower, or Cauli for short. The couple planned to bring their cat with them as they moved back to the U.S., but because of a visa issue and the requirements for importing pets into the U.S., Bénévise had to return to the U.S. before the cat could and while Lane was still finishing up his stint at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, according to the report.
They found another family at the base to watch Cauli until Lane was ready to bring her to the U.S. in October. But during a stop on the way to the airport, the cat escaped from the car and ran off, according to the report. Lane caught a later flight so he could look for the cat, but his search didn’t turn up Cauli and he couldn’t wait any longer as he had to report for duty in Georgia.
“It honestly was soul-crushing,” Bénévise told WSAV.
Months went by, but the couple didn’t give up. They reached out on various Facebook groups for people at Camp Humphreys, according to the report. They even offered a reward, initially $500 and later as high as $1,500, to anyone who could catch the cat for them.
“Some of my friends were like, ‘It’s OK Lucie, you did everything you could.’ And I knew, like, I didn’t do everything I could, I can still continue,” she told the TV station. “I don’t think I should give up.”
A couple of days after Christmas, Lane shook Bénévise awake, according to the report. He’d gotten a text with a photo of Cauli from someone who’d found her. She had been roaming the base and, other than being a little dirty and a little skinnier, was OK.
The family who had watched Cauli before was able to look after her again, until they found someone else in the military who was flying from South Korea to Atlanta last month, Bénévise told WSAV. The couple met the man at the airport and were reunited with Cauli. Bénévise said she paid the man a reward for the trouble of carrying the cat internationally.
“I know that it couldn’t have been easy to have the cat with him during the flight, but he said she was fine,” Bénévise told WSAV.
The couple finally brought their cat home, after being thousands of miles apart for months. Bénévise told WSAV that Cauli immediately made herself at home on her cat tower.
“I just felt so much relief,” Bénévise told the TV station. “I know that nobody can love her as much as I love her.”