The Thompson family was happily surprised when they were reunited with their cat Pilot after he had been missing for TEN YEARS. Pilot was originally adopted by Jenn Thompson in Santa Rosa, California way back in 2004, along with her husband and young children. But one day he wandered off and never returned. The family searched endlessly for him to no avail and in 2010, the Thompsons moved to Longmont, Colorado.

But thankfully, Pilot’s story doesn’t end there. Amazingly, the cat somehow survived the most recent California wildfires and was found by a local woman who was searching for her own felines. Incredibly, Pilot was only a little over a mile from where he had originally gone missing back in 2007, reports People.

Pilot was rushed to the nearest pet hospital where his microchip was scanned and soon after, the family hopped on a plane for the reunion. When they finally met, Pilot recognized Jenn’s voice. “He definitely recognized my daughter. Definitely. She was eight when he went missing. Right away, he went and cuddled up with her. I had no doubt. It’s like, OK, he knows my kid,” Jenn told People.

Pilot was in horrible condition after the fires. He was burned and starved when he was brought into the veterinary hospital. The family has since set up a GoFundMe page to help cover Pilot’s medical bills. Because of the extensive burns, he needs frequent bandage changes and he has to be sedated each time to ease the pain. If you’d like to donate, please click here


Despite the ordeal, Pilot, now 13-years-old, has proven himself to be a fighter. “He’s in really good spirits and gets excited and wants to be petted and loved on the moment someone opens his cage door at the veterinary hospital. He’s not ready to give up so neither am I,” Jenn writes on the fundraising page.

People from around the world have started chipping in what they can for Pilot’s care and treatment, with his story leaving many filled with hope. If you’d like to stay up to date on Pilot’s recovery, the family has been sharing updates on the GoFundMe page.

We are thrilled Pilot has finally been reunited with his family after so many years! For tips on what to do if your pet goes missing, click here.

Image Source: Help With Pilot’s Veterinary Care/GoFundMe