Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

Missing New York cat activates her family’s Ring doorbell: ‘We all just screamed’

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A family in Long Island, New York, was reunited with their lost cat thanks to the feline’s smarts and the doorbell camera that alerted her owners of the pet’s safe return home.

Lilly, an 8-year-old, short-haired gray cat, activated her family’s Ring doorbell on Sunday, Aug. 14, after going missing for nearly one week in Mastic Beach, New York, Lilly’s owner, Stefanie Whitley, told Fox News Digital.

Whitley was in the kitchen washing dishes while her fiancé, Efrain (Chip) Leandry, watched television in the living room with their five children.

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Whitley said she and her family had moved recently from a nearby neighborhood and that Lilly accidentally got outside last month. 

Lilly is an indoor-outdoor cat, though she was not yet familiar with her new surroundings.

Lilly the cat had recently moved to a new neighborhood with her family before she went missing for about a week in August 2022.

Lilly the cat had recently moved to a new neighborhood with her family before she went missing for about a week in August 2022.
(Stefanie Whitley)

“It was very scary having her missing for days, especially knowing that she always responds,” Whitley told Fox News Digital. 

“You can call her name and she comes out of nowhere. But this time it was different.”

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Whitley said she and her family searched and searched — and lost all hope of finding Lilly. 

Then, that Sunday evening, the cat approached the family’s doorstep — and began meowing loudly for her loved ones.

Lilly’s presence activated the Ring camera. Her face then appeared on all the devices in the family’s home — even the television that Whitley’s fiancé and kids were watching at that moment, she said.

“We all just screamed, ‘Oh my God, Lilly!'” said Whitley, who works at an ophthalmologist’s office. 

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“The kids thought it was hysterical because the way she meowed it sounded like, ‘Mom.'”

Whitley's daughter, Sienna — age one in this photo — cuddles Lilly, the family's cat.

Whitley’s daughter, Sienna — age one in this photo — cuddles Lilly, the family’s cat.
(Stefanie Whitley)

Whitley said she and Leandry, a cath lab tech, have a blended family

The couple have five kids – Shamel, 14, Jayden, 12, Soleina, 10, Sienna, 8, and Sailor, who turns 2 in October.

Stefanie Whitley (front left, in foreground) poses with four of her five children.

Stefanie Whitley (front left, in foreground) poses with four of her five children.
(Stefanie Whitley)

They all love animals and hope to adopt more just as they did with Lilly, she said.

A firefighter rescued Lilly and brought the cat to a local vet clinic eight years ago, before Whitley took her in, she said.

Lilly as a kitten roughly eight years ago, when Whitley first adopted her.

Lilly as a kitten roughly eight years ago, when Whitley first adopted her.
(Stefanie Whitley)

Whitley said she’s proud of Lilly for finding her way home — and believes the cat somehow knew how to activate the camera on her own.

Stefanie Whitley is seen holding her cat, Lilly. She shared these family photos with Fox News Digital.

Stefanie Whitley is seen holding her cat, Lilly. She shared these family photos with Fox News Digital.
(Stefanie Whitley)

Lilly often greets her family when they pull into their driveway at home.

Lilly often greets her family when they pull into their driveway at home.
(Stefanie Whitley)

“Every time [the doorbell camera] goes off, she goes to the door or goes to the window,” Whitley said. 

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The video showing Lilly activating the Ring doorbell camera was first shared on a Ring community app.

It has since garnered a great deal of attention online and on news stations, Whitley said.

Lilly the cat is seen at the lower right-hand corner of this video screengrab as she activates her family's Ring doorbell camera outside the home.

Lilly the cat is seen at the lower right-hand corner of this video screengrab as she activates her family’s Ring doorbell camera outside the home.
(Stefanie Whitley)

“We’ve been watching the news [airing] her video. You have to see her face when she sees herself on TV.”

“If it hadn’t been for that notification that night, we wouldn’t have known she was there,” Whitley added.

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To see the moment Lilly “rings” her family’s doorbell, watch the video at the top of this article.



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