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California family reunites with cat 16 months after mudslide

May 1, 2019

MONTECITO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California family has been reunited with their beloved cat more than 16 months after deadly mudslides tore through their community.

Noelle Strogoff of Montecito and her family reunited with Diamond the cat Monday, KEYT-TV reports .

The reunion came after Noelle Strogoff told a worker power-washing her deck all about her two missing cats and how much her three children missed them.

The worker mentioned he’d been looking after a skinny cat in his neighborhood for about a year. It didn’t take the two long to compare pictures of the fluffy black-and-white cat and realize he’d been caring for Diamond all along.

“Twenty minutes later, I’m following him to his home and there’s Diamond totally fine,” Strogoff said.

Diamond and the family’s other cat, Huguette, have been missing since the family returned to their home following the January 2018 mudslides that killed 23 people and destroyed hundreds of homes.

The Strogoffs evacuated their home the day before the mudslides struck and couldn’t find the cats in the rush to leave. Their home survived the mudslides but had to undergo lengthy repairs before they could move back in.

“I had no idea that what happened was going to happen and assumed they would be fine,” Strogoff said.

Like many families in the area, the Strogoffs kept holding out hope they’d find their pets and say Diamond’s story should inspire them to keep faith.

“Don’t give up, keep looking,” Strogoff said. “Just keep talking to people and expressing what it is you are looking for.”

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Information from: KEYT-TV, http://www.keyt.com/