In December 2017, Southern California was devastated by a series of wildfires. The loss of vegetation destabilised the soil and acted as a trigger for large scale mudflows during the following heavy rain in January 2018. The authorities evacuated about 21,000 residents of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties ahead of the storms.
One of these families was the Strogoff family from Montecito. They left their home quickly and were unable to locate their two cats, Diamond and Huguette, who had been outside.
A few days later when they returned to assess their property, the two cats were nowhere to be found. Due to the damage, the family had to relocate for a year. They were left wondering what had happened to their beloved pets.
They returned home in January 2019. However, it was only last week, while having renovations done, that Noelle Strogoff was talking to one of the workers. During the conversation she mentioned her lost cats. The man commented that her description of Diamond matched that of a cat he had been feeding for some time. They compared photos on cell phones, and twenty minutes later, Noelle followed him home to find Diamond.
Diamond was completely healthy. She had been fending for herself for over a year, relying on the generosity of strangers in providing food. The family are overjoyed to have Diamond back, who has a very calm temperament and plays with the three children “like a dog”.
Unfortunately, there has not been any news of their other cat, Huguette.
If anyone sees a pet who appears to be without a home, they should try and take photos. These can be uploaded to Facebook or the local Humane Society. There are many reasons why a pet may have strayed or been unable to find their way home, and this can help get them reunited with their families. As Noelle and her family have found out, miracles do happen!