COCONUT CREEK, FLA. (WSVN) - It was a happy reunion for a disabled South Florida teenage boy and his emotional support cat who was rescued from traffic on the Florida Turnpike by an animal rescue volunteer after it went missing.
7News cameras on Thursday afternoon captured the moment 13-year-old Derek Lucas and his family got to greet Spike for the first time since the pet vanished.
The black and white cat slipped out of the family’s Coconut Creek home late Monday night.
“I went to the car, and I did not close the door all the way, and Spike got out through the front door,” said Jasmine Lucas, the teen’s mother.
Spike is a big help for Derek, who is disabled and legally blind. He has also been recently diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disorder.
“He has sickle cell disease, type SS. He also is newly diagnosed with Moyamoya disease on Monday,” said Jasmine, “which restricts the blood flow in the vessels and narrows it, so it doesn’t give the brain enough blood supply and blood flow.”
Thus, losing Spike was detrimental to this family.
“I didn’t know what to do, so I put treats outside thinking he would come back,” said Derek. “We went searching for him.”
Three days later, someone saw a white fluff ball on the Turnpike and posted about it on social media.
Angela Schwartz with Good Karma Pet Rescue said she got in her car to go find the feline as soon as she heard about it.
“I got over, and I drove on the far left lane, and I looked,” she said.
It didn’t take long for her to locate Spike against a cement barrier.
“He looked like a little trash bag or something, up against the side, ’cause he was flattening himself down, as small as he could get, and I pulled over,” said Schwartz.
Vehicles whizzed by Schwartz as she risked her life in order to reach Spike.
“I came up behind him, and he was facing away from him, and the cars were so loud,” she said, “so he had no idea I was there, and I just … scooped him up.”
Spike was bloody, with a hurt ear and injured paws.
Schwartz rushed the cat to a vet clinic, where his microchip was found.
Thursday’s reunion made for a very grateful boy.
“Thank you,” Derek said to Schwartz.
“You’re welcome,” she said.
Schwartz said it’s clear Spike lives in a loving home.
“I’m so happy that Spike has somebody who loves him to come home to,” she said.
“For anyone to risk their life to save a cat that they have no idea about is just amazing. It is, it really is. It’s heartfelt,” said Jasmine.
Derek is scheduled to begin his treatment for his latest diagnosis in the next few days, so he could really use his furry friend.
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