Cat lost after hurricane rejoins family

Julie Poe’s daughter Mya with their cat Simone. Simone was recently reunited with her owners by the Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter after being separated for about two years. 

After two years, a cat reunited with her South Texas owners last month.

Beforehand, the Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter received a call from a business on Palo Pinto Street to pick up a cat, Animal Control Officer Chris Blount said.

“Usually we have a lot of feral cats in the area, so it’s not an uncommon call,” Blount said. “I get there, and they show me the cat, and the cat immediately acts like a friendly cat.”

Blount determined that the cat was probably someone’s pet and not a feral cat. He found that she had a microchip and contacted her owners.

The cat, a 7- or 8-year-old calico named Simone, belongs to the family of Julie Poe, who lives near Victoria. Poe said they adopted Simone several years ago and had her for about four years before Hurricane Harvey hit.

The family traveled to Weatherford to stay with Poe’s brother after evacuating their home before the hurricane. They were on the road for about 10 hours and arrived in Weatherford at about 3 a.m. As they unpacked, Simone ran outside and over the fence. Poe searched for the cat but didn’t find her.

“She liked to run outside at our house, so I kind of figured that she would be OK and that she would come back,” Poe said. “At the time, I didn’t really feel like she was not going to come back because she liked to dart out the door like that at home, only we were 10 hours away from home, and she had no idea where she was.”

Two years later, Poe got the call from the animal shelter, and they picked up Simone from the shelter last month. Simone’s fur was covered in sticker burs, Poe said, and the cat was skin and bones thin.

“We stopped and got some scissors just to cut the sticker burs out of her hair and cleaned her up some before we made the drive home,” Poe said. “She remembered everybody, and the kids were crying, they were so happy, and she settled right back in. She remembered where the food bowls were, and that’s the first thing she went for. She spent about three days just eating nonstop. Other than kind of a rough haircut from the sticker burs, she’s put weight back on and seems as healthy and happy as can be now.”

Having Simone back feels like a blessing and a second chance, Poe said. After this experience, Poe said microchipping household pets is a necessity.

“I would tell anybody to make sure they get their pets chipped because you never know what’s going to happen,” Poe said. “If she hadn’t been chipped, that would’ve been it. That saved her life, too.”

As an animal control officer, Blount said his favorite part of his job is connecting animals with their homes.

“We try to be the voice of the animals,” Blount said. “If no one was speaking for this cat or trying to get the information from it, this cat would’ve continued doing what it was doing.”

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