Emily Brunner and her partner, Kory Stuemke, had a rough start to the New Year — their condominium in Chapel Hill burnt to the ground. But even worse, one of their three beloved kitties went missing after the fire. When the fire broke out, Emily was able to grab two of her cats and put them in a carrier before fleeing the house. She unfortunately couldn’t find Milagro.
When the fire was extinguished, Emily and Kory combed through the remains hoping to miraculously find their third kitty. After an exhausting search, the good news was there were no feline remains to be found. The bad news: there was no kitty, either. Emily then set seven traps, but, instead of catching Milagro, she caught squirrels, a feral cat, and her neighbor’s cat multiple times.
As word spread around the neighborhood that Emily’s cat was still missing, neighbors pitched in by making flyers, offering a reward, and combing the neighborhood. There were many leads, but none of them came to fruition.
Three weeks later, a construction worker was on the site of the burned condominium and he heard a cat mew. He opened a partially burned kitchen cupboard and there, inside, was Milagro! The poor kitty was covered in soot, her fur matted, and the back of her legs burned–but she was alive! Emily promptly took her to a vet where she was treated.
Upon returning to her new home, Milagro unsurprisingly hid for two days. She finally came out when her furry brother Phoenix called to her one afternoon. Milagro must have been delighted to see him as she ran out to greet her brother with a nose kiss!
Emily and Cory said it was a grueling three weeks knowing that their cat was out there somewhere, possibly injured and surely hungry, but they never gave up hope. And, as Milagro’s name suggests (Milagro is Spanish for miracle), a miracle surely did happen when this little kitty emerged from the burnt remains of the house nearly a month later.
The worker who found Milagro refused to take the reward money, and instead insisted it was enough “to tell this story to his grandkids.”