Woody and Lindsay Thompson thought all was lost when mudslides destroyed their southern California home.
They feared that even their beloved cat, Koshka, had been swept away amidst the mud and wreckage following last week's mudslides in Montecito that led to the deaths of at least 18 people.
The couple was hoping for any sliver of good news when they were told on Monday that Koshka had been found, leading to a tearful reunion with the cat, thanks to Santa Barbara County Animal Services.
The organization shared a video of the joyful moment on Facebook as a sobbing Lindsay expressed her gratitude for the precious moment at a time when they needed it most.
"Thank you so much,'' she said. "We needed something like this to happen for our family."
The couple had to be rescued by helicopter from the mudslide and had even written goodbye messages to one another in case they got separated and did not survive.
They reached out to Santa Barbara County Animal Services to find Koshka, which led to the organization contacting nearby firefighters.
The fire crew told them that they had seen muddy paw prints, leading to hope the cat was still alive, according to Santa Barbara County Animal Services' Facebook post.
"They went back and looked for her and they saw little footprints on the mud so they called her the 'pawprint kitty,' and she lived, and I can't thank you enough," Lindsay said in the video. "You're our heroes."
Personnel checked the property for six straight days and began to lose hope before finding Koshka on Monday with mud-caked fur but otherwise in one piece.
"We knew that she was alive, we knew that she was smart and would find a safe spot to be, and she did,'' Woody said in the video.
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