Missing cat turns up three years after California disaster

SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (AP) — A pet cat believed killed along with her owner in a huge mudslide has been found three years later.

The Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP) in Santa Barbara County said the calico named Patches was brought in as a stray last month and a microchip scan revealed her identity.

Patches had been missing since January 9, 2018, when a rainstorm on the vast burn scar of the Thomas Fire sent a debris-laden torrent crashing down through hillside neighbourhoods of Montecito, northwest of Los Angeles.

The ASAP shelter said Patches was found less than a quarter-mile from where her Montecito home stood.

She was reunited with Gower’s partner, Norm Borgatello, on New Year’s Eve.

“Though we don’t know exactly what she’s been doing with her life for the past three years, we can see that both Patches and Norm are thrilled to be reunited,” the shelter said in a Facebook post.

Patches who had been missing since January 9, 2018, is seen at the Animal Shelter Assistance Program in Santa Barbara, California on January 11, 2021. PHOTO: AP