Diego the lost cat yawns Diego is tired after his long adventure. (Photo: Iris Samaniego)

When Iris Samaniego's cat Diego zipped out her garage door in June 2015, she and her family posted fliers, canvassed the neighborhood and searched all the animal shelters. But the wiley kitty was nowhere to be found.

Samaniego didn't give up. She continued to search for the flame-point Siamese for months after he disappeared. While some people were worried that a coyote might have gotten to the cat, she was convinced Diego was still around.

More than 18 months after the kitty disappeared, something told Samaniego to check in with the local shelter, her sister Crystal Sanmann wrote on Facebook. So she headed there after her shift ended as a vet tech, and she saw a cat that looked remarkably like Diego. As she got closer, she burst into tears.

Watch their sweet reunion:

Samaniego's two kids were just as excited when they came home from school and were reunited with their long-lost kitty. Grab some tissues and watch:

Since the family has been back together, Samaniego says her "old man" is a little slower and a little grayer, but sure seems happy to be home.

As Sanmann wrote: "Never give up on finding your animals."

Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.