Missing Cat Returns Home 2 Years After Texas Wildfire

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Sushi returned to her Cedar Creek, TX home two years after she went missing during the 2011 Labor Day weekend Bastrop wildfires, and she brought a little friend back with her.

Doug Maitland and Sharen Armstrong-Maitland got out with their dog but lost track of Sushi when the evacuation order sent them from their home as a devastating fire approached in  early September of 2011.

“People with megaphones telling us to leave, helicopters going over the house dredging water from our reservoir lake to drop on neighborhood fires, fire volunteers setting break fires around us and amplified car traffic as people left,” Sharen recalled in an Austin Statesman article.

The couple searched for their cat for several weeks and networked her photo in hopes of finding her, but eventually gave up, thinking they would never see her again.

Doug was up on a ladder doing some painting on the house recently when he noticed a skinny but familiar looking whitish cat nearby, sitting in some weeds. The cat looked like a skinny version of Sushi, but he had difficulty believing his eyes. He told the Statesman he felt like he was hallucinating.

It was Sushi, and she let her petparents pick her up and carry her into the house, where she turned her attention to the food bowl.

“We were absolutely floored when we realized it was Sushi that had come back after all that time,” Sharen said. “I always had a small hope, but as time went on, we thought she had either found a new home or met a bad end.”

During Sushi’s absence, the family had adopted two orphaned cats in need of good homes. The couple kept Sushi separated from their two newer cats for the first few days, and note that she initially showed aggression toward them and seemed tougher after her time in the wild.

Around the time Sushi was given free run of the house, Doug and Sharon discovered a little surprise sitting on their front porch, in the form of a black kitten.

The Maitlands feel that Sushi was taking care of the kitten and became agitated when she was unable to reach him or help him find food. She was spayed before she went missing, so had adopted the kitten.

The Maitlands brought the kitten into their family and named him Ninja.

“She was very protective,” Sharen said. “Not letting any of the other animals anywhere near little Ninja.”

“Sushi showed him that we’re OK by rubbing on us and allowing us to hold and pet her while Ninja watched,” Sharen said. “She trained him about the pet door and the cat box and they’ve taken over the screened-in back porch as their own territory, spending all their time playing and wrestling and grooming each other.”

The Maitlands are happy to have Sushi back with them, along with her little adoptive kitten.


Sushi grooms little 3 month old Ninja

1 thought on “Missing Cat Returns Home 2 Years After Texas Wildfire”

  1. It must be something in the water. Our cat went missing a year ago and returned just 3 days ago out of the blue! Maybe it’s a secret club these cats have going on together. Hehe. Glad ours is back and yours as well!

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