CLINTON — Kathy LaCroix is hoping a Halloween miracle will bring Dracula back into her home on Bellsqueeze Road.

For most people, Dracula conjures an image of the fictional vampire clad in a black cape. But when LeCroix hears the name, her first thought is of her 10-month-old gray and white kitten that disappeared from her home two weeks ago.

“We named him Dracula because he sucks up all your love,” not because he’s an “evil little critter killer,” LeCroix said Monday.

“He’s just a love bug,” she added.

Even though coyotes are roaming in the woods and fields where Dracula disappeared, LeCroix is holding out hope he’ll come home alive.

LaCroix has two other adult cats, but Dracula was special — he’s her “Lyme buddy.” She started treatment for Lyme disease four years ago, after a doctor finally correctly diagnosed her with the bacterial infection. She is on the road to recovery, but it is slow going and she still deals with pain and fatigue.

When she got Dracula as a newborn kitten last year, he quickly captured her heart and started to help her work through her disease, LeCroix said. He’s especially helpful in the morning, when fatigue and numbness in her limbs makes it hard to get out of bed.

“He’s the one that gets me up in the morning,” LaCroix said. Dracula licks her face, paws her eyes and rubs against her until she relents and gets up to pet him. “He is a huge character of a cat. He has a lot of personality,” she said.

Dracula is allowed to go outside but usually comes home pretty quickly. When the kitten didn’t show up the night of Oct. 13, LeCroix started to worry.

“He’s never been gone from the house longer than a few hours,” LaCroix said.

For the first and second days, she waited for Dracula to come back, but by the third day she started the search, sending out fliers to neighbors and people on Hill Road, and checking nearby game cameras for a sight of him. One of her neighbors reported seeing Dracula in the early days of the search, but it was the last sighting.

As the search entered its second week, LaCroix pulled out all the stops. She hired Lost Pet Tracking Dogs, a Maine business that specializes in finding missing dogs and cats through with a trained K-9 tracking team.

On Sunday, the team, led by trainer Lisa Nazarenko, combed the woods outside LaCroix’s house. Nazarenko, and her tracking dog, Bella, picked up Dracula’s trail immediately and tracked the cat for a mile to the west, toward Battle Ridge Road.

LaCroix said she was surprised; she had been focusing the search on the opposite direction.

Although Nazaranko and her dogs didn’t find the cat, LaCroix hasn’t lost hope. The dog that tracks cadavers and blood didn’t find anything, so LeCroix is convinced Dracula is still alive, even though he is missing in an area where her family hears a lot of coyotes.

“He’s in coyote country right now,” she said. “I’m very worried. He’s just a 10-month-old kitten.”

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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