Cat Reunited with Family 2 Months After Crash

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Netha Hill and her cat Sparky

Sparky was ejected from his family’s pickup truck during a terrible August 20 rollover accident that sent the Hill family to the hospital by ambulance with serious injuries and left him lost and on his own. The accident occurred on Route 20 in Willits, California, over 160 miles from the family’s Grass Valley, California home.

Sparky, who was wearing a collar with three bells on it, panicked and ran away in the commotion. He was spotted a few days after the crash, but was not seen again for weeks. Sparky’s friends and family put up posters, and the Willits News featured a picture of Sparky in September.

A local resident took Sparky in when he turned up  looking for a friend to care for him, then took him to the Humane Society of Inland Mendocino County for rehoming. The Humane Society gave the cat shots, microchiped him, named him Bond, James Bond, and sent him to Coast Hardware for adoption last Sunday, October 14.

The Buchanan family, owners of Coast Hardware, are committed to helping animals find homes, and offer them for adoption through the store. Bond aka Sparky was sent to the store after another cat was adopted.

The missing cat photo of Sparky published by The Willits news and posted at their Facebook page.


Netha and Sparky

Candace Buchanan thought the cat looked familiar when he arrived at the store, and she began to wonder if he was the cat lost after the accident on Route 20. Terry Buchanan called around trying to see if the cat was Sparky. The Willits News and the town’s police chief helped, and the hardware store staff were able to connect with Sparky’s petmom Netha Hill.

Netha Hill spoke with Terri Buchanan and was able to confirm Sparky’s identity, in part by describing a kink in the four year old cat’s tail. There was some excitement in the Willits community as the cat who’d gone missing under such dramatic circumstances was found, identified and about to go home. Netha and her daughter arrived at the store on Wednesday, October 17, and were reunited with Sparky.

“My deepest, deepest thanks to everyone who had anything to do with returning Sparky,” Netha Hill is quoted saying in the Willits News. “I am so eternally grateful.”

“It is very unusual to have such a reunion after so long, especially without a microchip,” said Humane Society volunteer Taffy Montgomery. “We are seeing more and more family reunions if the pet is microchipped.”

Hill hugs Candis Buchanan during the reunion, while Terri Buchanan and Taffy Montgomery look on. (Don Buchanan/Courtesy) (The Willits News)


Taffy Montgomery and Netha Hill enjoy the moment with Terri Buchanan in the background. (Don Buchanan/Courtesy) (The Willits News)

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