Florida lady reunites with cat after losing her during Irma evacuation

Published 4:09 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2018

To what lengths would you go to find your lost pet?

Melissa Brimmer of Melbourne, Florida has set no limit on what she will do to find her cat.

The Brimmer family of four, along with two rabbits and two cats evacuated to Bainbridge in their recreational vehicle in order to escape Hurricane Irma in September.  They stayed in the camping trailer park while they were here.

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On Sept. 9 her five-year-old cat Cleo escaped from the motor home and no amount of looking could find her.

When it came time for the family to return home, the cat still hadn’t been found. A distraught Melissa stayed behind in Bainbridge for two weeks diligently searching for her cat. She had posters made with the cat’s photo on it and she checked regularly with the local Humane Society, all to no avail.

Eventually she had to return home without Cleo.

Well, as luck would have it, Animal Control picked up a cat last Friday evening and brought it to the animal shelter. Thanks to the astute observations of shelter worker Chris Rouse, who kept looking at the new cat and wondering why it looked so familiar, the cat began to have an identity. “It took me a couple of days to realize what I was looking at,” he proclaims. They checked with Animal Control and learned the cat had been found on a dirt road near the trailer park.

A phone call was made to the Brimmer family to say they had a cat brought in that looked a lot like their missing one. They sent pictures of the cat, and the Brimmers  said all the markings looked right, but the pictured cat was much thinner than theirs. A positive identification was made when Melissa told the Shelter that her cat had a kink in the end of its tail. Sure enough, there was a kink.

Monday of this week Melissa left Melbourne and drove to Bainbridge. “I was so excited I think I drove about 90 miles per hour all the way here,” she said on Tuesday morning when she came to the shelter to be reunited with her beloved pet.

The cat, which Melissa says had never been outside before it ran off, showed signs of the hard life it had led on the streets. In addition to the weight loss, it had picked up some skin conditions. But it was definitely her cat, and she was just beside herself with joy.

Shelter workers and associates were equally happy. Dennie Nichols commented, “This is why we do what we do. and why we keep the animals as long as we do. We are so happy to have good news.”