Two years after he went missing in the Minden flood in Ontario, Canada, Louis has finally been reunited with his family again.
Crystal Perry and her boyfriend Nairen Nesbitt reclaimed Louis last Saturday, July 11. Louis was living with Nairen at the young man’s parents home in Minden at the time of the flood, in April of 2013, and went missing from there. The family was new to the neighborhood and Louis was outside when rising floodwaters from the Gull River created a state of emergency that sent residents out of their homes.
Nairen searched for his missing cat, even paddling up and down his street in a canoe while the waters were still high. Family, friends and neighbors continued to look for the cat long afterward but never spotted him.
The long-awaited reunion took place at Canadian Tire, in Minden, the Minden Times reported earlier this week.
Crystal spotted a photo of Louis on the tire company’s property that was posted to Lost and Found Pets of Haliburton at Facebook. She says it was a matter of “random chance” that she happened to see the photo.
While the cat in the photo appeared to be Louis, the couple wanted to make sure before getting their hopes up too high.
“When I saw the pictures I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high, but I did. Same thing with my boyfriend. He was like, ‘That can’t be my cat.’ It’s not going to hurt to look … let’s go check it out and see,” she said.
When the couple drove to the tire company and approached the cat, they called out his name and he meowed back.
“My boyfriend went up to him and said his name. [Louis] looked right at him and started talking, like meowing at him. It was so cute, but he has a big gash in his head. He was beat up. A little on the thin side. He was pretty beat up,” Crystal is quoted as saying by the Minden Times.
While no one knows the full story of Louis’ whereabouts for more than two years, staff at Canadian Tire have been feeding him anytime they’ve seen him in recent months, after he turned up and began hanging around in the area between that business and a nearby Tim Horton’s.
Canadian Tire employee Robyn Maltby helped in the reunion. She took Crystal’s number and called her to report a sighting when Louis showed up out back by some trailers.
Crystal told the Times she believes Louis was frightened and disoriented by the flood.
The couple are thrilled to have Louis back and say he will be an indoor cat from now on.