JJ was home alone when her family’s house was destroyed in the deadly tornado that leveled much of Joplin MO on May 22. Thanks to a group of dedicated women who continue to search for lost cats, feed them, and watch the lost and found posts, JJ is back with her family, safe and happy once more.
JJ was reunited with her family on August 16 after a meeting was arranged so that petmom Jodi Wundelin-Macaulay could make a positive identification of the cat that rescuers thought they had pinpointed as being JJ. Everyone felt hopeful of the match and had difficulty waiting until early evening when Ms. Macaulay was able to come and see the cat, at which point joy and relief broke out, and hope was strengthened. The joy and relief are petty obvious reactions to be shared by both rescuers and the reunited. Why hope? Every time another cat or dog is reunited with their family hope is renewed that it can happen again.
As we noted when we posted that Ducky had been reunited with his petmom a few weeks ago, tornado cats are known to be hiding and living in the damaged zone. People diligently put out food and water for them, and in certain instances undertake trapping operations. It has been determined that most displaced cats seem to be staying fairly close to “home”, or the spot where home once was. Families who have had to leave Joplin after they lost their homes cannot search on a daily basis, so the work of the volunteers and the community at large is of immeasurable value in keeping lost pets alive and getting them back to their families.
A lady from JJ’s street had been putting out food for both JJ and the woman’s own cat, who was also recently brought back home. In another great rescue tale, the other cat was lured out of hiding by that cat’s best friend, the family dog . The woman who’d been feeding JJ recognized her picture on a lost and found board, then two rescue team members were able to catch JJ and bring her to safety. At that point the ID match was checked and verified so she could be restored to her family.
One rescuer describes JJ as being very sweet, soft and beautiful, even after three months alone, outside in the elements.
Petmom Jodi says “She was the only one home during the tornado and we thought she was lost forever. It made our day. It gave us the Hope we needed to keep going on.” The family, who lost thei home, is just now getting a new home, so JJ has come back at a particulaly meaningful moment.
Jodi goes on to say, “She looks pretty good considering, but she does need to be fattened back up. She leapt for the kids. It’s amazing how fast she settled in. She remembers us and is a very happy kitty. We have had her 10 years and now she won’t let the kids out of her sight.”
With a statement that sums up what it means for many disaster survivors who’ve lost all their belongings and then find a beloved pet, Jodi simply says “Well we’ll never be back home but we’re together”.