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Family Reunited With Cat, 18 Months After Joplin Tornado

In the midst of the massive devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy comes a sweet story about a cat that was lost during the May 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri — and was found again nearly 18 months later.

The tornado destroyed the home of the Kent family, while they huddled in the basement for refuge. Their cat, Simba, had wandered off before the full brunt of the storm had hit. The family, currently staying in a local hotel while they wait for completion of their new house, recently went back to visit the site of their old house, the Joplin Globe reports.

“We took my aunt, who was in town from Atlanta, through the old neighborhood and we were looking at where the house had been and mom saw the cat,” 21-year-old Alexandra Kent told the Globe. “I said, ‘That looks like Simba,’ so we got out and I went up to him. I never thought it would actually be our cat.”

At that point, her mother, Jan Kent, realized that it was in fact the cat they had lost more than a year before.

“There’s a nick on his ear and when I saw that, I just knew,” Jan said. “I called his name and he came right over. I never thought we would have him back.”

After the tornado, the family had combed the streets, posted on message boards, and checked with area pet shelters repeatedly in the hopes of finding Simba.

The Kents say they never lost hope that perhaps Simba had survived the storm.

“It’s like he never left us,” said 14-year-old Stephanie Kent. “This all feels like a dream to me still.”

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto)

Read more from Joslyn at Strollerderby and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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