‘Good omen’: Family dealing with tragedy reunites with lost cat

Reporter: Gail Levy
Published: Updated:
A family is reunited with a cat they lost while they cared for their daughter who was recovering from a drowning. (CREDIT: Courtesy)

A family experiences a miracle not once but twice.

A family whose toddler survived a drowning has been reunited with their feline friend they lost while their 18-month old was in the hospital.

“Last February, our youngest daughter Penelope got out our back screen door and she had a near-drowning,” said Paul Lagergren Jr., of North Fort Myers.

Lagergren said he thought his daughter was going to die.

But for two months Penelope fought, recovering in the hospital while people came and went into their home, helping the family, but causing the family cat, Tigger, to escape.

“This cat, in particular, Tigger, he was a little bit skittish to those he didn’t know very well and he just ran away one day because we were not home,” Lagergren said.

Penelope returned home, fighting for a strong recovery.

But Tigger was nowhere to be found. For more than a year, the cat was missing.

“We went to leads that went nowhere, a lot of neighbors trying to get involved, we had fliers everywhere, and we thought something terrible had happened to him,” Lagergren said.

Tigger’s family favorite, Abigail, did everything a 12-year-old could do to bring him home.

“I was just praying and just looking for him all over the place, riding my bike and then I kind of lost hope because he wasn’t coming back and I thought he got eaten by something or got hit by a car and so I lost hope on that,” Abigail said.

Nearly a dozen calls came in about cats that could be Tigger.

But they were never the right orange cat with a fluffy tail.

Until Wednesday, the family’s prayers paid off.

A neighbor spotted him and scanned his microchip.

“That’s how we definitively knew it was him,” Lagergren said. “We went and picked him up and as soon as he saw Abigail it was all over. It was all over, he found his human.”

Finding Tigger is a good omen, Lagergren said.

“Everybody needs some good news for a change and it certainly came at a good time in our family, it really did,” he said. “There’s great things on the horizon for us, for our family.”


The family said Penelope is getting better every day and will soon start a stem cell therapy program. If you’re interested in following her journey, the family posts on Facebook almost every day.

You can follow her journey on Penny’s Crazy Train.

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