Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

October 31, 2012

Survivor cat reunites with family 17 months after tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Kent family resigned themselves to life without their beloved cat, Simba, when a powerful tornado destroyed their home on May 22, 2011. The family had huddled in the basement during the powerful, EF-5 storm. Their furry, grey friend wandered away.

Jan Kent visited animal shelters after the tornado, which destroyed 7,500 homes here and 158 people. She went back over the streets at night. There was no sign of Simba.

Then, on Sunday, the Kent family was touring the old neighborhood with an aunt in town from Atlanta and returned to the place that was once their home. That's when Jan Kent saw a cat that looked much like the one they lost 17 months earlier.

“There’s a nick on his ear, and when I saw that, I just knew,” she said. “I called his name, and he came right over. I never thought we would have him back.”

The Kents had adopted Simba from a PetSmart in 2002. Sisters Alexandra, 21, and Stephanie, 14, chose him because he was active and appeared tough.

“He was the wildest cat there," said Stephanie. "We knew he was a survivor.”

Of course, the Kents aren't sure who or what might have been helping Simba survive these past few months. No one had given him a collar. They knocked on a door near where they found him, with no luck.

“He’s a lot smaller now than he was at the old house,” Alexandra said. “He was a big kitty before, but you can tell someone has taken care of him by feeding him."

The Kents are staying at a hotel until their new house is ready next month. Simba will stay with their grandmother until the family moves in.

Stephanie said Simba's return will be the best possible housewarming present.

“It’s like he never left us,” she said. “This all feels like a dream to me still.”

---

Details for this story were reported by The Joplin Globe.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Web Extra
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page