Tornado Destroys Home: Man Camps on Site Until All 7 Cats Safely Found


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By Karen Harrison Binette

Michael Roescher of Monson MA camped out in the rubble of his tornado destroyed home for days in order to recover all 7 of his missing cats. Finally, by last Sunday he had them all back.

The home Mr. Roescher rented in Monson MA was completely destroyed by a tornado that ripped through Massachusetts on Wednesday, June 1,with his goldfish and 7 cats all inside.

According to a local report: On June 1, Mr. Roescher was working when his daughter Kelly McClure told him, “‘There’s a tornado in the backyard.'”

He looked out and saw “3-D IMax destruction of the town happening in my backyard. The wind was moving left to right as fast as it could go. I saw 60 foot trees being ripped out of the ground. It was 15 feet behind us when we turned to head for the basement.”

“The most horrific part, was I was blinded by the dirt, then I saw the physical house move up and go 8 feet east. The whole time it was trying to suck me out and all the garbage from the basement was going up in the air,” he added. “Something hit me in the head. It was like being in a blender.”

When it was over, he thought he was dead. His daughter pulled him out of the rubble, and the two discovered that everything had been destroyed.

Mr. Roescher feared all of the pets were lost until the goldfish was found the day after the tornado, still alive in 2 inches of water, prompting him to gain hope for the cats’ survival.

He placed a large sign in front of the rubble, with pictures and names for all the cats and, as they were found, noted the happy occasion on the sign.

Mr. Roescher camped outside amid the rubble so he could search for his traumatized pets at night, setting traps with tuna fish to lure them out. A group of volunteers assisted in the searches, including Fire Chief George Robichaud, who freed one only to have it run off.

Some were dug out of the rubble, some had to be lured with food, and on Sunday, the last cat, Rocky, was finally recovered at 4:30 a.m. When Rocky saw Roescher, he rolled over on his belly to greet his owner, who says “I’m thrilled to death. Beyond belief, I am shocked . . . How did they survive?” The cats are fine, other than having some bruised paws from trying to dig themselves out from the rubble.

They cats came back like this:

First ,Felix and then Plumley  were dug out of the rubble on June 3, two days after the tornado.

Next, Samson and Franky,Kelly’s cats, turned up on June  4 and 5. Samson was pried from the rubble, and crawled into McClure’s arms. Franky ran over to Mr. Roescher and got into his arms.

Cujetta, a stray recently picked up in Worcester, was found stuck in a wall on June 5.

Cosette was found a few days later, with help from some young women from Springfield who came out to help, again in the rubble.

Rocky, an 18-pound orange cat, proved to be the most elusive. “He was fast, like a panther on the roll.”

Franky and Cujetta, are staying temporarily at Second Chance Animal Shelter in East Brookfield. Samson is staying with Ms. McClure in Brimfield, and Felix, Plumley, Cosette and Rocky, and Silver the fish, are staying with Mr. Roescher in Worcester.

Congratulations and kudos to Mr. Roescher, who lost everything but his pets as a result of the tornado, yet says he has what’s important to him.


Source, MASS Potions of this story taken directly from there.

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30 thoughts on “Tornado Destroys Home: Man Camps on Site Until All 7 Cats Safely Found”

  1. A man after my own heart! And has me beat by 1 on the cats! I’ve already told my family if anything happens, I’m staying with my cats!! God bless you and all your kitties!

  2. This story really touched my heart. For him to have all seven cats plus even a goldfish surviving in two inches of water is just totally amazing. I am so happy for him.

  3. I am so happy everyone made it out all right! It is amazing they all made it though. So happy you stayed there till they were all safe.

  4. OMG!!! That is the best news that I’ve heard in a long, long time!!!! Congrats that your family is all together again. *hugs* all around!!

  5. God is great! Bless the Lord for this awesome miracle! I’m overjoyed that these precious babies are reunited with Mr Roescher.God bless and keep them all! 😀

  6. A heart of gold! Michael, you’re an angel to love and care for each and every one of those animals! What a blessing you are! My prayer now is for God’s blessings to turn your way to help you get back into a house for you and your pets! You are worth your weight in gold! A keeper for sure! : )

  7. Btw, the goldfish (Silver) is 16yrs old and survived 2 eye surgeries in 2009. Was in a 75 gal tank by himself.. Was only 2 -3 inches of water left in tank.

  8. What a wonderful man in such adversity. Glad he and his pets are safe. They couldn’t have a more loving home. All the best from Tasmania Australia

  9. Hi Michael,
    I’m so sorry you lost everything but your precious daughter and pets but happy you found each and every one of your dear ones. I saw your news video from before you found the kitties (wish I had put it in the story) and you look and sound like a good catch to me.
    I fell for my hubby when I saw him sitting on the floor with his kitten sleeping in the crook of his arm. 😉
    Best wishes to you. Everyone was touched by your devotion.

  10. I always worry about something like this happening in my town,and losing my cats.I would be totally devastated.So happy they were all alive and well!

  11. Thisr is somewhat ironic. I just finished watching the movie “Gordy” on TV and wanted to see how the main human character, Hanky (played by Michael Roescher), was doing so many years later. I found that he is a true animal lover who believes in going the limit to care for his pets. How wonderful to see a pet owner, and volunteers, go to these extremes to do what’s right. And this wasn’t the last tornado Michael was to see!! It was just the worst. I hope that he and his family and pets are doing OK and have been able to put their lives physically and financially back together. Thanks for the joy of “Gordy”.

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