Cat Missing For 10 Years Reunited With Family After Being Burned in CA Fire

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on December 26, 2017

Pilot was 3 years old when he failed to return to his family one night 10 years ago.

Eventually, the Thompson family decided he must have become lunch for a coyote and that they would never see him again, especially when they moved from California to Colorado in 2010.

On Halloween of this year, they received a phone call from Petcare Veterinary Hospital in Santa Rosa, California, saying that a Good Samaritan had found Pilot, clearly having been burned more than 2 weeks previously in the Wine Country fires. Petcare was able to track down the Thompsons, thanks to a microchip they found in Pilot.

Image source: GoFundMe


Pilot needed to stay in California for awhile as he recovered from his burns. The bandages on his feet needed changing daily, a process he needed to be sedated for due to the intense pain it would cause. He also needed 2 surgeries, one of which was to amputate 5 toes that had been too severely damaged to heal.

Mom Jenn Thompson shared her story with the Longmont Times-Call. She told them:

 “I think he recognized my voice and that was pretty cool. When I brought him back, he definitely recognized my daughter. Definitely. She was 8 when he went missing. Right away, he went and cuddled up with her. I had no doubt. It’s like, OK, he knows my kid.”


Image source: GoFundMe


Pilot is a senior cat of 13 now, and the Thompsons don’t know how much time they will have left with him, but they intend to enjoy every minute that they can. Jenn said:

“We’re so happy to have him back and whatever amount of time that is, he’s comfortable and happy now.”

The Thompsons have a GoFundMe account to help cover Pilot’s extensive vet bills, although as of this writing, they’ve raised $4,500, which is more than their $3,000 goal.

(H/T: Longmont Times-Call, The Mercury News)