Both Justin Bieber’s exotic cat Sushi, and the lifestyle personality Sandra Lee have been keeping a low profile lately, but together they rocketed back into the headlines this afternoon in a very surprising way.
Apparently, Sushi ran away from Bieber’s West Coast compound almost a month ago. Justin and wife, Hailey, had begun to fear the worst, until a hero emerged in Lee, who found the pricey cat in her own backyard and returned him to his rightful home.
For those unaware, Bieber purchased Sushi and another kitten, Tuna, last summer for a reported price tag of $35,000. As that figure would indicate, these are no run-of-the-mill felines. They’re Savanah cats, a mix of a domestic breed and the wild African serval. (PETA, it should be noted, is no fan of the breed and got into a spat with Bieber over his purchase.) Known as the largest domestic cat in the world, Savannah’s can apparently be trained to walk on a leash and play fetch.
Sushi soon became a mainstay of Bieber’s social media, but according to his Instagram, the cat ran off.
“Almost a month ago, my pal Sushi decided to run away, after weeks passing by Hailey and began to lose hope that our baby was gone,” Bieber wrote. “Yesterday we got a call that somebody found our baby. It had made it miles and miles away!”
Bieber did not mention who that “somebody” was, but around the same time, Lee, the host of Food Network’s Semi-Homemade, posted her own version of events on her Instagram.
“Guess what walked into my backyard last night? My best friend and I had no idea what it was or whose it was,” wrote Lee.
The chef noted that the cat seemed scared and emaciated. She quickly fed it tuna (the fish, not Bieber’s other cat) and removed three porcupine quills from its paws. Then Lee contacted the owner.
“I Thought the young man on the other end of the phone was going to either burst out in shrieks of joy or burst out in tears—he was so happy, shocked, and stunned…still I [had] no idea who it was.”
Within 40 minutes, Bieber showed up at Lee’s home. “So now I am Aunt Sandy to Bieber Baby Lynx of a cat!” concluded Lee.
Hailey Bieber has not, as of press time, offered her own version of events.
Lee’s taking to the ‘gram to share the story is especially notable given that she has posted only once before, to promote a television appearance, since splitting with her longtime partner, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in September of last year. Apparently, the tale was just too good not to share.