Cat Missing 17 Months Found at Site of Destroyed Home

Life With Cats is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

As Eastern areas of the US braced for Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, October 29, a survivor of a 2011 natural disaster was reunited with his family in the Midwest.

Simba went missing in the devastating May 22, 2011 tornado that destroyed his Joplin, MO home. The Kent family, Mom Jan and daughters Alexandra and Stephanie survived the disaster hunkered in the basement, but Simba couldn’t be located when the emergency warning came.

After the tornado, the family walked the streets searching for Simba, contacted shelters, and posted on message boards but there was no word on the missing cat. As the months past, Simba’s family continued to hope he had survived and had found another loving family to care for him.

On Sunday, the Kents returned to their old neighborhood with a visiting relative.  As they drove by the spot where their house had been, they spotted a gray cat that looked like Simba and stopped the car.  As they absorbed the realization that they’d found Simba, family members encircled the cat. Jan told the Joplin Globe, “I called his name and he came right over. I never thought we would have him back.”

Simba had been a beloved member of the Kent family since being adopted in 2002. The formerly big kitty is smaller now, but appears to have been fed by someone. He may have been taken in, been fed in someone’s yard, or may have visited one of the feeding station that are still being maintained for lost cats displaced by the tornado.

The Kents are staying at a nearby hotel while waiting for their new home to be ready to move into; Simba will stay with grandmother Ruth Snider until then.

Stephanie Kent said, “It’s like he never left us,” she said. “This all feels like a dream to me still.”


1 thought on “Cat Missing 17 Months Found at Site of Destroyed Home”

  1. I am delighted to hear that you found your baby. My sister lost 2 of her dogs for almost 2 years and on a gut feeling, stopped by a private woman’s house who fosters dogs until they can be reunited with their owners. This was years ago, and both dogs have now crossed over to the Rainbow Bimridge, however the lady who found them and took them in and cared for them for almost 2 years still fosters animals. We live in a rural area of town, and she even fosters an emu that got loose from someone’s property. God bless those people who help misplaced animals.

Leave a Comment