Imagine watching the love of your life dying and being sure that her cat has also passed away, only to learn that he has been in the neighborhood for the last three years. Well, one cat feared dead in the 2018 California mudslide was found alive and reunited with his owner. It was an incredible moment that proves good deeds always are rewarded because the owner and his girlfriend were supporters of the local animal shelter, which found the missing cat thought to be dead. Let’s tell you in detail about the events leading up to the cat’s owner’s death.
The Cat’s Owner Dies
In January 2018, Patches, a calico cat, did not know that her life was about to change for the worst. Her owner, Josie Gower, a 69-year-old woman who lived with her boyfriend Norm Borgatello, was ready to weather the storm, literary. Gower lived on East Valley Road in Santa Barbara, where a storm was expected to sweep the area. Despite the area being under voluntary evacuation, Gower refused to evacuate, saying that she had survived previous storms worse than what was expected.
She told family and friends that the Thomas fire that went down as the largest ever in California had happened a month before, and she and her boyfriend had watched the flames while enjoying pizza with firefighters. The fire had resulted in a mandatory evacuation, but an impending mudslide did not feel serious enough; hence the voluntary evacuation resulted in Gower choosing to remain in her house. She prepared for the weather change by stacking two sandbag rows around the house and went to bed as her boyfriend kept an eye out for the storm.
As published by the Los Angeles Times, Gower was woken up by the sound of rain hitting the roof at around 3 am, so she went downstairs to join her boyfriend. They opened the front door only to be pushed out of their own house by massive boulders. Although the couple tried holding on to the door frame, the storm was so strong that it swept Gower away while Borgatello was thrown to a fence. Unable to see his girlfriend, Borgatello called her name out for hours. Unfortunately, while he wound up in a hospital, Gower ended up in the coroner’s office after her body was found over a mile away from her house. She was among the 23 that died during the California mudslide, and two of the victims were never found.
The Cat’s Reunion with Deceased Owner’s Boyfriend
Among the many victims of the mudslide was Gower’s cat, Patches. It is not clear where she was when this incident happened on January 9, 2018, but since then, she was missing, and Borgatello was sure that she had died. It was a beautiful surprise when staff at the Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP) in Santa Barbara brought in a stray found less than a quarter-mile from Gower’s home. Since Gower and Borgatello were longtime supporters of the program, the staff knew them and Patches. They were shocked that upon scanning the microchip on Patches, she was indeed the “dead” cat that belonged to Gower. They contacted Gower’s family, and Borgatello went on New Year’s Eve to pick her up. He looked at Patches as if he had seen a ghost. If cats talked, Patches would have a story tell about what she had been doing for the past three years but regardless of her adventures, she was happy to be home and reunited with Borgatello. ASAP reiterated the importance of microchipping animals, saying chances of reunions are much higher in microchipped strays, no matter the period of separation from their owners.
A Case of a Zombie Cat
Patches being presumed dead and then reappearing after three years makes quite a captivating story but wait until you learn of a cat that crawled out of the grave to look for food. According to BBC News, Ellis Hutson could not stand to bury his cat, Bart, after the feline was hit by a car and left for dead. He was found in a pool of blood and thought to be dead. Therefore, Hutson asked his neighbor, Dave, to bury the kitty in a shallow grave. After five days, Hutson’s other neighbor, Dusty, found Bart begging for food after apparently crawling out of his grave. Dusty notified Hutson, who found the cat in a pitiful condition. He could not afford the vet bills for his cat, thus asked the Humane Society to intervene.
The feline underwent surgery, which involved removing one of his eyes and wiring his jaw shut since the accident did not leave much of the cat’s face intact. Bart was depressed and barely ate, but he still held on to his life and took months to recover. Luckily for him, he found someone willing to adopt him. However, Hutson stalled the adoption process, claiming he wanted his cat back, but the Humane Society was not ready to surrender Bart. Hutson’s girlfriend knew the cat was still alive when they buried him. Therefore, Bart ended up with a new loving owner who did not mind the extra drooling due to Bart’s mouth injuries.
Cat Thought to be Dead Reappears
Maybe it is grief that clouds our mind, so when one family found a cat ran over by a car, they immediately thought it was their beloved Kitty. Eric’s mom had noticed that Kitty was missing since the previous night, so it was logical that the one she found lying in the street had to be their Kitty. According to Distractify, Eric’s dad asked him and his sister to comfort their mother, who was devastated. With Kitty being a member of the Schmidt family, they held a burial service. Upon returning home, Eric’s dad stared out the window and saw Kitty staring right back at him. It dawned on him that they had buried someone else’s cat, and Kitty was not a zombie.