A family who lost their cat over 10 years ago has finally found him after the recent California wildfires that swept through the Southern part of the State.
Meet the adorable Pilot the cat!
Jennifer Thompson said that Pilot arrived in their family in 2004 as a tiny kitten.
“He is a very special cat who loved my kids, loved to play in water, and followed us around like a dog.”
Three years later, the cat went missing from his home in Santa Rosa, California. He was a sweet and playful cat who made everyone happy at home. The family was devastated when they realized that he was missing.
“He is microchipped and was wearing a collar with a tag… His disappearance was extremely traumatizing to us.”
The family searched the surrounding areas for countless days and nights, but their beloved cat was nowhere to be found. Despite being gone for the longest time, the family never forgot about Pilot and hoped that someday their beloved cat would find his way home.
One day, the family received a call from an animal clinic about a cat they rescued from the California wildfires whose microchip led them to the Thompsons.
“Imagine our shock and surprise when he was found on Oct 31st. 10 years after his disappearance. He was severely burned in the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa, Ca. A Good Samaritan found him and took him to Petcare Veterinary Hospital for treatment.”
The whole family has since moved to Colorado, but Jennifer immediately bought a plane ticket to California to see her beloved kitty. Pilot suffered burns on his paws and ears because of the wildfire and had to undergo intense treatment.
Pilot is one hell of a fighter who remains to be in good spirits despite what happened to him.
“Pilot had been burned like this for over two weeks. He’d been out there on his own and he somehow made it with very little food and water. He was dehydrated and starving. And yet he kept going. He got excited and wanted to be petted and loved on the moment someone opened his cage door at the veterinary hospital.”
Jennifer quickly rushed to the hospital to see her cat as soon as she landed in California.
“He was asleep when I walked into the hospital ward at Petcare and immediately raised his head and turned around when he heard my voice. I was overjoyed and the tears were flowing. I have no doubt that he remembered me.”
Jennifer took Pilot to her sister’s home but had to return to the vet during the day to continue treatment.
“He slept in bed with me. I finally felt some peace with this sweet boy next to me. He is still such a snuggle bug. 10 years hasn’t changed a thing.”
As soon as the vet cleared him to travel, Pilot and his human mom flew home to Colorado.
“My daughter was eight years old when Pilot went missing. Like me, she was born a cat person and she had nightmares for a long time because she was so worried about what had happened to him.
“She came in the room and he started chirping away (he has this little chirp that he does) when he saw her and she started talking. It’s pretty amazing.”
“This is what means the most to me. Our cat is here. He is healing. We are doing whatever we can to help him heal. And he and my daughter are happy.
“Although I’m sad that we lost so much time with him, I’m grateful for the time we have left. We will cherish every single minute.”
Pilot was so thin when rescuers found him in California. A few weeks after being reunited with his family, the lovely cat put on weight and is back with his old habits, which reminded the family of good memories before he went missing.
“We went into our family room which has a big arm chair next to the window. It’s the coveted cat spot in our home. It didn’t take him long to find it.”
“He is now bandage free which I know he is very happy about. His paws look amazing,” Jennifer said in an update.
“They are still quite sensitive but that will just take some time. His burned ears are now almost completely healed as well.”
Pilot with his new found brother.
“It’s been amazing to see him start to blossom. He’s truly a miracle.”
The recent California wildfires have brought pain and suffering to thousands of families in the Southern part of the State. But stories like this will somehow give people hope.