While many evacuees of Hurricane Irma are making their way home along southern routes through South Carolina, one evacuee is most decidedly stuck somewhere in transit.
Meet Lux, a big, black cat who hails from Jacksonville, Florida, but who, at the moment, is on the lam somewhere in and around the Cobblestone Park and nearby Eagles Glen neighborhoods of Blythewood, just north of Columbia.
“With Hurricane Irma barreling toward Florida, my husband and I decided to evacuate,” said Chris Miller, Lux’s owner.
“We secured our house and packed what we needed along with our two dogs and one cat into the car and set off. After an 11-hour drive from Jacksonville to Charlotte, my husband, Pat, and myself and all the animals were thrilled to finally be out of the car and in a hotel room. Since our two dogs are quite large, Lux always rides in the front seat, either on our laps or on the center console, or just behind the front seats on top of the luggage if he wants to stretch out.
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“We decided to return to Jacksonville on (Tuesday) and stopped in Blythewood to have lunch at Lizard’s Thicket. Since it was a cool day, I decided to crack the windows and leave the sunroof partially open instead of leaving the car running. We finished eating lunch and continued to drive home. We stopped for gas and drove a little farther when I noticed Lux wasn’t in his normal spots. We pulled over and searched the car but couldn’t find him.”
The Millers turned around and made their way back to Lizard’s Thicket, where they searched into the night for Lux, without success. The couple then cancelled their hotel reservations further down the road and stayed the night at a Blythewood motel so they could continue the search the next day.
Enter Mark Cruise, who lives in the Cobblestone neighborhood.
“I was coming out of my garage two mornings ago to walk my dog and coming up the sidewalk was Chris…She explained that she was looking for Lux…She said they had spent the night in order to look for Lux. I told her that I would be happy to post a message on the NextDoor app, which has nearly 1,000 local residents from Cobblestone and Eagles Glen subscribed. As soon as I posted, people started to respond.”
There has since been at least one sighting of Lux, and folks in both neighborhoods are on the lookout for the feline evacuee from Florida.
“I feel like it’s only a matter of time before Lux is found,” Cruise said. “In the midst of hurricane relief and recovery, this is hopefully one small but meaningful way that we here in Blythewood can help out a Florida couple affected by the storm.”
“The response of the community in Blythewood has been so unbelievable,” Miller said. “Hopefully all the effort they are putting into finding Lux will result in him coming home.”
Lux weighs about 15 pounds. He is black and has yellow eyes. He also has a snippet of white – about the size of the end of a pencil eraser – on his chest.
“He answers to his name (pronounced ‘lukes’), at least when he is home,” Miller said, “and he prefers other dogs to cats.
“We miss him terribly as he is an important member of our family and pray he is relocated and reunited with us…Anyone believing they have found or spotted Lux, please call me at (904) 228-9325. Our appreciation and gratitude to all in this wonderful community of Blythewood, who continue to search for Lux, is beyond words.”
Contributing columnist Salley McInerney may be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.