Patches and Norm reunite at ASAP. | Credit: ASAP's Facebook page

As we pass the third anniversary of the heartbreaking Montecito Debris Flow, we have a “tail” that is sure to spark tears of sorrow and of joy …

Patches disappeared the night of the Montecito Debris Flow in January 2018 ― a devastation that our community will never forget. It was assumed that Patches had passed away along with her owner Josie, who was, tragically, a victim of the mudslides.

So when a stray calico cat was brought to ASAP in December 2020, it was a shock to discover, upon scanning her microchip, that she was, in fact, the long-lost Patches.

Josie and her partner Norm (who miraculously survived that fateful night) were longtime supporters of ASAP, and when we discovered that Patches’ microchip was registered in Josie’s name, we were able to contact their family and facilitate a reunion no one thought possible.

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Norm, pictured here reuniting with Patches, had no idea that she was still alive. He was overwhelmed when he came to pick her up on New Year’s Eve, as though he’d seen a ghost. 

And in a way, it was almost as if he had. Even more unbelievable is the fact that Patches was found less than a quarter mile away from her original home in Montecito.

Though we don’t know exactly what she’s been doing with her life for the past three years, we can see that both Patches and Norm are thrilled to be reunited.

We are so grateful that, with the support of our amazing community, not only are we able to save lives, but we are often able to help these special reunions happen. As we see time and time again, a lost cat with a microchip has a much greater chance of being reunited with their family … no matter how, or for how long, they’ve been separated.

This story originally appeared on ASAP’s Facebook page.

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