Never stop looking.
black cat lays down
Credit: Lindsy Metz

A cat is back home with his mom almost two years after a wildfire separated them and destroyed their California home. 

The Camp Fire began in November 2018 and was the state’s “deadliest and most destructive fire” in the state’s history. It ignited in Butte County, where Lindsy Metz lived with her family in the community of Magalia. When the fire came, she only had 30 minutes to evacuate, she tells news station KRCR

When she ran to pick up her 8-year-old cat Artemis, he ran off. Metz had to leave without him and assumed he perished in the fire. 

“It was devastating,” she tells the TV station. 

She searched online for missing black cats, desperately enough that her family told her she needed to stop, she says. As she wrote on Facebook, she was running low on hope, too. 

But then on Sept. 18, Metz saw a cat that looked an awful lot like Artemis on her friend’s Facebook page nearly 23 months after they’d been separated. Artemis has picked a house to meow at for food, maybe a couple miles from his and Metz’s home. Turns out, the person living there is Metz’s friend. 

Metz went to visit the friend, and sure enough, it was Artemis. He’d been close to home the whole time. 

“A piece of my heart is back where it belongs,” she tells KRCR.   

Metz wrote that besides a respiratory infection and losing a little weight, Artemis is healthy.  This story also serves as a good reminder: If you can’t find your cat, there’s a good chance he hasn’t gone too far. Here are the best ways to bring him home. (Tip No. 1: Don’t give up.)