Alaska couple who lost their home in flood reunites with missing cat after 26 days

A couple who lost their home in a flood collapse feared they lost their beloved cat, too — but 26 days later, they got a miracle.

Elizabeth Wilkins and her partner Tom Schwartz, both teachers, recently moved into a rental house in Juneau, Alaska. But their new home was at the center of a destructive disaster.

According to AP, a release of water from the nearby Suicide Basin eroded the river bank and caused a major flood that destroyed several homes in the area. Elizabeth and Tom’s home was destroyed — a moment captured in a viral video:

Thankfully, the couple wasn’t home — they were reportedly on a mountain biking trip in Oregon at the time — but they became concerned when their pet cat Leo was nowhere to be found.

The couple adopted Leo, a “COVID kitten,” in 2020. Days and weeks passed with no sign of him, but despite everything Elizabeth held out hope that her beloved pet escaped in time and was off surviving on his own.

“I knew that he’s pretty smart, and so I felt pretty confident that he would escape and be OK somewhere,” she told AP.

The couple searched everywhere, calling Leo’s name, leaving out food and enlisting the help of their neighbors. Then, after 26 days, they got the miracle they hoped for.

Someone shared a photo of a cat to a local community Facebook group, and Elizabeth quickly recognized that it was Leo. She quickly rushed to the scene, where her cat was waiting for her.

“I just started walking down the street calling for him, and he just ran out and was like, ‘Oh hey, here I am, you know, like, where have you been?’” she recalled to AP.

“Leo was a little thinner, but otherwise totally fine,” she added. “He ate four cans of tuna and went outside to kill a mouse. I imagine that is how he survived.”

Elizabeth said finding Leo was “super joyful” news, both for her and for the community who helped search for her cat. After losing her home and possessions in the flood, it was a relief to know that at least their beloved cat made it through.

What a miracle — we’re so glad Leo is home safe and sound! Please share this amazing news! ❤️

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