Panda the cat had quite a journey before being reunited with his family!
The adorable black-and-white house cat, who was allowed to roam around outside on the property of his Washington home but always came back inside before too long, went missing on Oct. 8 — and despite their best efforts, his owners had no idea where the feline was.
"We had about a dozen people helping us look for some sort of sign or clue," Christina Clevenger told Today.
When he still hadn’t turned up three days later, Clevenger began posting about her and her husband’s missing cat online. And after two long weeks, the couple got some good, but very puzzling news: Panda was alive, but had somehow found his way to Kenai, Alaska.
A confused and hungry Panda was found at the town's Home Depot store inside a shipping crate on Oct. 24, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Although the specifics about Panda’s journey remain a mystery, it’s believed that the feline somehow found his way into a container, which was bound for the faraway destination.
Fortunately, not only was Panda unharmed, but Clevenger and her husband were able to work with a Washington-based animal rescue organization to help get him home.
"It was amazing that they got a hold of us and jumped to help right away," she told Today. "Honestly, if it wasn't for (United Angels), we would probably have not gotten Panda back, because there was so many hoops to jump through."
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In addition to raising money to help get him back home, United Angels also helped cover Panda's medical costs, as "the cat had been locked inside a container for many days with no food or water" before turning up in Alaska.
"Panda has had quite the adventure," D.D. Ponder, who runs the nonprofit, said in a statement shared on social media. "But thanks to the support of animal lovers in two different states, he is coming home with at least 8 of his 9 lives still to live."
And on Oct. 30, Panda’s journey was finally over when he was reunited with his loving owners.
"It was hectic, but it was a good hectic," Clevenger told Today. "I just want to thank everyone. I know that sounds cheesy, but everybody came together. They helped us get our baby home."
Of course, given what they went through, Panda’s days of being an outdoor cat are over — and his owners have also gotten him microchipped. "I learned my lesson the hard way," she added. "He got grounded permanently."
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