Couple Rescued From Mudslide Reunites With Beloved Cat They Thought They’d Lost Forever

Santa Barbara County Animal Services Facebook

Lindsey and Woody Thompson were trapped inside their house during a mudslide in Montecito, California earlier this month. The couple never thought of making it out alive and even started saying goodbye to each other.

Fortunately for them, rescue helicopter arrived at the scene just in time before the mud could completely cover them. However, another member of the family didn’t make it out on time.

Meet Koshka, the cat!

Santa Barbara County Animal Services Facebook

Lindsey and Woody Thompson were completely devastated when they realized that their beloved cat was left inside the house during the deadly Montecito mudslide.

Despite the slim chance of finding Koshka, the couple contacted the Santa Barbara County Animal Services (SBCAS) for help.

Michael Snyder-Pennon

Santa Barbara County Animal Services Facebook

“Our teams went to the property as soon as we were able, but we were not able to access the property safely,” according to a Facebook post by SBCAS. “Our teams continued to check the property daily since January 9, but were losing hope as we could not safely access the remainder of the home.”

Santa Barbara County Animal Services Facebook

When the animal rescue group was finally able to reach the property, they crawl through a window into the house. Without expecting any positive result, Michael Snyder-Pennon, an officer with SBCAS, and a partner from the local ASPCA were surprised to see Koshka, her soft gray fur caked in mud

Santa Barbara County Animal Services Facebook

Stacy Silva, community outreach coordinator for SBCAS, said that during the clearing operation, volunteers found hundreds of chickens from mud-shifted coops, geckos, bearded dragons, red-eared sliders, among other animals.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services Facebook

“It was an absolute emotional high, is the best way to put it,” Silva told The Dodo. “The tears were flowing, but they were happy tears, and tears that needed to be released because of all the destruction that has taken place.”

“This was one huge act of hope for those people who are still missing their pets from the mudslide,” Silva added.

Lindsey and Woody Thompson are so happy to be reunited with their beloved cat.

We needed something like this to happen for our family,” Lindsey Thompson says through tears in the video. “Our house is totally destroyed … but we’re safe — and now Koshka’s safe.”

Santa Barbara County Animal Services Facebook

“We knew that she was alive, we knew that she was smart and would find a safe spot to be, and she did,” Woody Thompson says. “She has amazing instinct.”

Despite what happened to them, the couple is happy to have found Koshka.

Montecito, California Mudslide


“Thank you,” Lindsey Thompson adds, “You’re our heroes.”

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H/T: The Dodo