You might not remember the mudslides that devastated and claimed 23 lives in Santa Barbara in January 2018. However, out of that very sad story is one of joy. Patches, a calico cat, belonging to Josie Gower, who died in the mudslides, was thought to have perished too; however, Patches was found this last December alive and roaming her old neighborhood.
Gower’s daughter was surprised that the lucky feline had survived after three years of being missing. “It’s a nice thing to hear that, after that many years, you can get a little bit of joy out of something that was quite horrific,” Haigh said.
This is a testament to having your pets microchipped. Patches had wound up in the Animal Shelter Assistance Program, a local shelter in the Santa Barbara area and their staff quickly identified her because of her microchip. Patches was reunited with her family on New Year’s Eve.
The deceased Gower’s partner Norm was overjoyed. Since being back home, Patches follows Norm around and loves curling up beside him on the couch.
“…it just warms the heart a bit,” Haigh said. “I know my mom would be really happy. And I think it is quite strange that it came about right before the three-year anniversary.”
“Almost like a little message from Mom,” she added.