The reunion began with a walk down the hallway for Loni Fitzgerald and her family. With her husband and child at her sidem the Everett mom's family was whole again.
It's been a year and one week since Loni has had all four members of her family in one place.
But thanks to technology and what Loni calls a Christmas miracle - her beloved cat Claire is home.
"She's just a baby," says Loni. "She's only 2. She left when she was 1."
But to appreciate why this reunion matters, you need to know Loni's story.
She was fighting cervical cancer when her cat - her former partner in recovery - went missing. Days turned into weeks, then to months - until she got a call that Claire had been found.
It's a moment Loni never thought she'd get. But earlier this month, Claire was discovered seven miles from her home - and was identified at the Everett Animal Shelter, thanks to a microchip.
That clip helped the shelter link Loni to Claire - a friend who'd been there through both cancer treatment and pregnancy.
Claire doubled in size during her absence and is a bit hairier now, too.
But amid the clicks of the camera, she's still the same - here for Loni then, now and for years to come.
The Everett Animal Shelter says microchips can help reunite more pets and their owners. Officials say it only costs about $40.