A pet cat that was believed to have been killed along with her owner in the deadly 2018 Montecito mudslides has been found alive.
The Animal Shelter Assistance Program in Santa Barbara County says the calico cat named Patches was brought in as a stray last month, and a microchip scan revealed her identity.
Patches had been missing since Jan. 9, 2018, when a rainstorm on the vast burn scar of the Thomas Fire sent a debris-laden torrent crashing down the hillsides of Montecito.
Twenty-three people were killed, including Patches’ owner, Josie Gower. The devastation of the mudslides was so terrible that the bodies of two victims were never found.
The ASAP shelter says Patches was found less than a quarter of a mile from where her Montecito home stood.
She was reunited with Gower’s partner, Norm Borgatello, on New Year’s Eve.
“Though we don’t know exactly what she’s been doing with her life for the past three years, we can see that both Patches and Norm are thrilled to be reunited,” the shelter said in a Facebook post.
A Livestream ceremony to remember the 23 people who died in the mudslides was held last week on the third anniversary of what has become known as the “1/9 Debris Flow.”