It may have been a Christmas miracle or just a lucky break, but Oak Bluffs resident Christopher Dacunto was reunited with his pet kitten Harabe over the holiday weekend under unlikely circumstances following a major car accident on the highway just outside Old Mystic, Conn.

Tuesday before Christmas, Mr. Dacunto was driving on I-95 to see his family in Hamden; in the car with him was 15-week-old Harabe, an exotic Serval-Bengal mix. He hit a snowbank and lost control of his Volvo, flipping it several times before coming to rest on the side of the road.

The impact of the crash shattered the vehicle’s back window, and while it is unclear whether Harabe was thrown through the window or escaped on his own, when rescue workers arrived they found Mr. Dacunto desperately searching the area for his cat.

Although he was injured in the crash, Mr. Dacunto initially brushed aside attempts by the rescue personnel to treat him. “At that moment all I could think of was finding [Harabe],” Mr. Dacunto told the Gazette this week after returning to the Island. “I was like a crazy person; I had to find him.”

Rescue workers were eventually able to get Mr. Dacunto onto a gurney, but they also started looking for Harabe in the snow, under cars and in the nearby woods, with no success. Mr. Dacunto was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he was treated and released; he returned to the scene the next day with his dad, Vincent, to resume the search.

A sweep of the area turned up nothing.

“We looked everywhere . . . we put up signs, we searched the woods, we even called about putting an ad in the local paper. Nobody we talked to had seen the cat anywhere,” he said. “We never gave up on finding him, but it was scary. [Harabe] is only a kitten.”

But the story didn’t end there. It turned out that the kitten had crawled up into the rear suspension system of one of the Old Mystic’s fire trucks that responded to the accident.

Harabe stayed hidden in the truck when the driver headed back to the fire station some eight miles away, stopping along the way to fill the vehicle with gas. When the truck was brought back to the station, no one knew about the precious cargo hiding underneath.

The next morning an office worker heard meowing from somewhere inside the station.

“We didn’t believe her at first, so the men were teasing her. We told her maybe she was hitting the Christmas eggnog a little too hard,” Old Mystic fire chief Ken Richards said this week. “But then we started to hear it too. Then we found the truck where the noise was coming from and looked underneath — and there was this cat.”

He continued: “When we called to the cat, it quickly jumped down and went to the office manager. It was crazy because we have a Dalmation at the station, and he was going nuts when he saw that cat.”

Chief Richards said he thought at first that Harabe was a feral cat, but then he noticed its claws were trimmed and he remembered that the driver from the crash the night before was looking for his cat when rescuers arrived.

“A big lightbulb went off over my head; I realized this was probably that guy’s cat. But I wasn’t totally convinced . . . it was hard to believe this cat rode inside the truck from the accident [scene] to the fire station eight miles away,” he said.

The chief called the ambulance driver, who relayed a message to Mr. Dacunto that his cat may have been found. Mr. Dacunto called the fire chief at home that night, and after the conversation both agreed that the cat was indeed Harabe.

Mr. Dacunto arrived at the firehouse early the next morning and was reunited with his pet on Christmas Eve.

The Day, a New London daily newspaper, ran a story about Mr. Dacunto and Harabe on Christmas Day.

Mr. Dacunto said getting back Harabe was the perfect Christmas gift.

“I admit there may have been a few tears. It was a good feeling to have him back,” he said.