It had been almost nine days since the Hines family saw their pet cat, Benjamin. The three-year-old, long-haired main coon mix with giant eyes went missing shortly after the family moved their belongings to East Hampton Village earlier this month, after renting out their Springs home for the summer, according to his owner, Suzanne Hines.
Benjamin, who is no stranger to the outdoors, turned up at the family’s Talmage Farm Lane home 6 miles away, shabby, hungry, but seemingly blasé about the whole affair.
“All he wanted to do was eat,” Ms. Hines said. “He was standing where his food bowl had been. He didn’t even greet me and the food bowl wasn’t even there. He ate ferociously.”
Ms. Hines said Benjamin must not have liked the family’s summer home because, although they kept him secure in the house, he found his way out.
“I’m still totally flabbergasted over how he got out,” she said. “He never kept his collar on and always kicked it off. I figured his collar fell off and somebody found him and took him because they thought he was homeless.”
She said more sinister fates crossed her mind those long days without Benjamin and so she called animal control, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, WLNG’s Pet Patrol and her new tenants back in Springs.
Fortunately, Benjamin strolled to his familiar stomping grounds on Talmage Farm Lane last week, surprising and dumbfounding his owners—Ms. Hines, her husband, Jeff, and their 13-year-old daughter, Phoebe.
“Did he march down Springs-Fireplace Road?” she mused. “He would’ve had to cross Cedar Street and North Main Street. Did he take the tracks and hop off in the right spot? Why didn’t he head toward Wainscott? Was he paying attention in the car and taking notes?”