The tragedies the California wildfires have caused are overwhelming, but we’ve seen many heartwarming things come out of them, as well.
People realizing what matters most, others coming together to feed victims, and many other extraordinary acts of human kindness.
One family in Longmont, Colorado, weren’t victims of the wildfires. They weren’t concerned about losing their home or their belongings, because they weren’t anywhere near those fires.
But what Jenn Thompson and her husband didn’t realize was that they would soon be reunited with a long-lost loved one.
Their cat, Pilot, had gone missing in 2007 while they still lived in California. He had been 3 years old at the time.
The Thompsons had adopted little Pilot as a kitten in 2004, and he was a loving indoor/outdoor cat for those three years they had him before he didn’t return home one night.
After a long search and checking humane societies and local animal shelters, they were forced to accept the likelihood that Pilot had been a coyote’s meal.
When they moved to Colorado in 2010, they never expected to see him again.
They lost one of their other cats to cancer earlier this year, and Thompson had been telling her friends that she felt like she should adopt one of the many cats coming out of the wildfires that needed a family.
She kept telling her husband, “We have a vacancy.” But that vacancy would soon be filled by someone unexpected.
A woman whose home had burned in the wildfires was searching for her cats in the rubble when she came across one who didn’t belong to her.
She brought him to the vet anyway and they scanned his microchip.
It was Pilot. They didn’t know him or that he was lost for so long, but they traced his owners back to Colorado and gave Thompson a call.
On Oct. 31, she answered the phone, probably not expecting to hear about a cat she lost 10 years ago. But she was stunned to find out that Pilot was, in fact, alive — though not exactly well.
He’d been severely burned in the fires. When Thompson told her husband, he said, “Well, you’re going to go get him, right?”
And so she did. After a long drive and two surgeries to amputate a few unsalvageable toes, Pilot was settling into his new house, but with his old, familiar family.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.