Missing Thurston County cat reunited with family after being found in Alaska

Talk about nine lives and a reunion the Clevengers of Thurston County weren’t sure would ever happen.

“Honestly, it’s pure luck that we have him. Not everyone can say their cat traveled to Alaska and was found,” Josh and Christina Clevenger.

Luck and a whole lot of coordination from people who cared.

“It’s the craziest lost and found story I have ever been in,” said D.D. Ponder.

Ponder’s nonprofit “United Angels” got involved after Christina posted on Facebook about the missing feline. Christina said Panda usually runs off on his own but always comes back to the home in Rochester for lunch.

Days passed and no word until a Home Depot worker in Alaska posted on a King County Animal Lost and Found page.

“It’s mind blowing to know he’s 2,500 miles away,” said Josh.

“And alive and okay,” added Christina.

It’s believed Panda somehow hitched himself onto a container in Rochester and took a little ride on a barge where he was stuck for 9-10 days without food or water before he was delivered to the Kenai Home Depot.

United Angels raised money to get Panda home - which included covering costs for boarding and medical care. Grant Airlines flew Panda for free to Anchorage where he then boarded an Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle Tacoma International Airport.

“He’s now home with at least eight of his nine lives,” said Ponder.

Back where he belongs with his family and where his adventuring days are over for now.

“He’s not going to like it,” Josh said.

“He’s going to be the worse child for the next couple of weeks, getting used to not being able to go outside,” said Christina.

Panda was not microchipped at the time. Though the Clevengers were able to prove that he belongs to them, they say the experience has  taught them the importance of microchipping.