The Cat That Came Back: Patches, Believed Killed In Mudslide, Shows Up 3 Years Later

A calico cat named Patches had belonged to Josie Gower, one of many 23 individuals killed within the mudslides that hit Santa Barbara, Calif., in January 2018. Patches was thought to have died too.

“We had kinda misplaced hope,” Briana Haigh, Gower’s daughter, advised NPR. Her mother’s a number of cats had slept in her storage, which was destroyed through the catastrophe.

But in December, Patches was discovered alive and roaming across the identical space she disappeared in.

“It’s a pleasant factor to listen to that, after that a few years, you will get somewhat little bit of pleasure out of one thing that was fairly horrific,” Haigh mentioned.

“I imply it is clearly not as dangerous as shedding the home and Mom, but it surely was fairly horrific to truly lose them as properly, that kinda connection to her,” Haigh mentioned.

Just weeks in the past, Patches was taken in by the Animal Shelter Assistance Program, an area shelter within the Santa Barbara space. Staff say they had been capable of determine her due to a microchip registered beneath Gower’s identify.

“It’s an excellent thriller to us about the place she’s been for the final nearly three years,” mentioned Becky Morrill, a workers member on the shelter.

The shelter received in contact with Haigh and shortly after, Gower’s associate, Norm Borgatello, was capable of take Patches again dwelling with him. Borgatello had been dwelling with Gower earlier than the mudslide occurred and he survived the catastrophe.

He was reunited with Patches on New Year’s Eve.

Morrill, who was current for the emotional second, mentioned the cat approached Borgatello instantly and acknowledged him.

“I believe Norm was somewhat teary, we had been somewhat teary. I do not suppose Patches cried, however she was joyful,” Morrill mentioned.

“It was an excellent second and really poignant, proper, as a result of it is each an exquisite reunion however a reminder of a really horrible loss for Norm,” she added.


Since returning dwelling collectively, Patches follows Norm round the home and likes to twist up behind him on the sofa.

To Haigh, the cat’s reemergence is like getting a chunk of her mother’s dwelling again, calling it “a pleasant finish to 2020.”

“I believe it simply warms the center a bit,” Haigh mentioned. “I do know my mother could be actually joyful. And I believe it’s fairly unusual that it happened proper earlier than the three-year anniversary.”

“Almost like somewhat message from Mom,” she added.



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