Last month’s wildfires in California left many people without homes. It also left many people searching for pets who had been left behind. Somehow, among the pets found in the aftermath was a cat that had been missing for 10 years.
Jennifer Leigh Thompson has not seen her family’s cat, Pilot, since 2007. One night, he simply didn’t return to the family’s home in Santa Rosa, California. They held out hope that Pilot would find his way home one day, but hope was all but lost when the family moved to Colorado in 2010.
But in the aftermath of last month’s wildfires, Pilot was spotted wandering around Santa Rosa, not far from the Thompson’s old house. An un-named person picked him up and took him to a nearby animal hospital.
Pilot had been badly burned in the fire and had gone untreated for at least two weeks. After starting treatment on Pilot, workers at the animal hospital scanned his microchip. A few phone calls later, Thompson was notified that her long lost cat had been miraculously found.
“I never in a million years imagined that we’d ever see him again,” said Thompson. “I’m so fortunate to have close friends who work at Petcare, where he’s hospitalized. They have been keeping me updated and giving him lots of love.”
Pilot continues to be treated at the hospital in Santa Rosa and has a long road to recovery. But next week Thompson is traveling to California to see Pilot. Whenever Pilot is ready to leave the hospital, Thompson will take him back to his new home in Colorado. Thompson is also hoping to meet the person who found Pilot and took her to the hospital.
“I don’t know who (the person) is but I hope I get to meet her,” Thompson said. “I’m getting our cat back because she cared.”
A GoFundMe campaign set up by Thompson has already exceeded its goal to help cover Pilot’s medical costs.