Furry feline finds family following tornado

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 6:14 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2023 at 9:12 AM CDT
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WYNNE, Ark. (KAIT) - It has been nearly one month since a deadly tornado struck Wynne and some are still picking up the pieces.

After their home was destroyed, the McNelly family was forced to find somewhere else to live, leaving behind their furry companion, Pumpkin.

A few days ago when they visited their home in Wynne, Pumpkin was there to greet them.

“I thought no way this was really him, but we started calling his name and he came over to us,” said Gina McNelly.

When the siren sounds filled the air, the family fled into the hall.

Once the devastating storm had passed, their home was destroyed, and their orange friend was nowhere to be found.

“He was pretty much the only thing that my daughter had left,” McNelly explained. “All of her possessions and anything that meant anything to her was gone.”

Mia McNelly is only five years old but she loved Pumpkin, and she was devastated when her companion was gone.

Pumpkin returned home a few days ago but not without a few injuries.

“My cat lost a toe, and he has a boo-boo on its ear,” said Mia McNelly.

When the neighborhood heard about McNelly’s situation, they stepped in to help.

“Anything from tuna to cat food, putting out anything they could,” Gina said. “They really rallied behind, trying to do anything they could to help us.”

Mia said Pumpkin was very shaken up when she first ran across him, but once he realized it was his family, Pumpkin did not hold back his excitement.

“He was really happy, he was so excited, he was like ‘meow meow’”, said Mia.

Gina McNelly said they still have a difficult road ahead, but having their family reunited makes it so much easier.