Longmont, Colorado, resident Jenn Thompson had been following reports of the fires sweeping Northern California, an issue that hit close to home for the former Santa Rosa dweller.
Thompson said in an interview with Times-Call:
"I was telling one of my friends out here, 'I feel like I should adopt one of these cats,' because there were so many. We lost a cat to cancer last spring and I've been telling my husband, 'We have a vacancy.'"
To her surprise, Thompson received a call from a kind citizen who had found a burned cat in some rubble (a mere mile away from her previous home in Santa Rosa) with a microchip leading them back to her phone number.
As it turns out, that cat was Pilot, Thompson's feline who wandered away from home back in 2007. A trip to Northern California reunited the two, and Thompson took her furry friend back to his new home in Colorado, where he received surgeries needed to address injuries sustained in the fire.
Thompson still isn't sure where Pilot had been hiding all those years. Devastated by his absence, she and her family searched high and low for him with no success. Eventually, they surrendered to the idea that maybe Pilot fell victim to local coyotes and were forced to move on with their lives.
Wherever Pilot was, he's back home with Thompson, her husband, and their two kids, and now, at 13, he has three cat siblings to share his days with.
Have you ever had an animal return after a long stint away? Tell us in the comments!
WATCH NOW: Cute Cat Videos Actually Make You More Productive!