Joplin Tornado: Woman Finds Cat Alive in Home's Debris 16 Days Later
The moment of joy is captured as Terrla Cruse finds the cat she thought was lost forever, on the day she made her final visit to the debris piled site where her home once stood.
Terrla Cruse, husband J.E., and the family dog all made it to safety in the cellar of their home one minute before a deadly, destructive tornado struck Joplin MO on May 22. The family’s two cats were not so lucky. Afterward, the house was destroyed, one cat had died, and 13 year old Laverne was missing. After a couple of visits to the Joplin Humane society’s tornado pets clearinghouse facility met with no luck the family assumed they would never see their other cat again.
This Tuesday, June 7, Terrla and her sister made one final trip to the debris pile where the Cruse home once stood. 5 minutes after Terrla’s sister in law raised the quetion on the phone – What would you do if you heard meowing? – the two sisters heard meows. After initially thinking that a neighbor’s cat was nearby they realized the sounds were coming from the rubble. They searched a while and, when the meowing stopped, feared they had stepped on the wrong spot and crushed the trapped cat. Terrla is quoted in the Joplin Globe saying “I said a little prayer and said ‘please meow one more time’” and few minutes later they heard the cat meow again and Laverne was discovered under some debris.
Laverne has been to the vet and other than being hungry and dehydrated she is fine.
What does this mean to the woman who lost almost everything, then found her missing cat? The pictures, taken by her sister Suzy, tell that more than words ever could.
Sources, Joplin Globe, KOAM7 TV. Photos Suzy Hoskins, Terrla’s sister.