When Hurricane Ike struck in September 2008, Juliet Pennay was studying French in Paris, but her 6-year-old cat Simon — and her family — was living on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

“Moms house in Webster was evacuated so she took Simon and her own cat to my uncles home in Clear Lake, which was not as prone to floods,” said Pennay. “While she was transporting Simon into the new house, he ran away.”

Skittish about loud noises, cars and anything out of the ordinary, indoor cat Simon got spooked and bolted into the neighborhood. Within hours, Pennays family was told to evacuate the house in Clear Lake, and had to do so without Simon.

“After the storm, my mom and uncle sent out flyers and asked everyone if they had seen Simon,” Pennay says. “Although there were supposedly sightings of him, he did not return.”

Pennay, an artist and writer still studying in Paris, was left to worry about her beloved gray tabby.

But she never gave up hope. When Pennay came back to the states for the holidays last month, she found her best gift ever during a long walk on Christmas Day. Here’s the video:


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“I saw him across the street. I was so excited I couldnt breathe. My heart stopped. I started crying and ran to him.”

Pennay adds, “After a year and a half of worry, it was so wonderful to see him.”

Pennay will return to Texas in June after her French classes end, but she intends to stay in Paris, and may even write a children’s book about the reunion with Simon. In the meantime, Simon is living with her uncle awaiting her return.

“This time my plan is to bring Simon with me, she vowed. “We will enjoy Paris together!”

[LINK: PEOPLEPets.com; WFAA.com]