By Claire Ottaviano
WHEN former Gidgegannup resident Novello Byrnes lost her beloved cat Kit after the February Wooroloo Bushfire, she never dreamed the tabby would be found four months later and miles away from home.
But that is exactly what happened after months of pleading on social media pages and a chance sighting in Sawyers Valley.
“When the fire came on February 1, we packed up and left the property and I went to Stoneville to stay with some friends,” Ms Byrnes said.
“On the morning of February 5, Kit squeezed out through a door and that was it.
“It was a pretty traumatic time for me, I’d lost a nephew in a train accident and my brother-in-law passed away over that period as well, it was a bit of a rough chop.”
For the next four months Ms Byrnes letterbox dropped flyers on her old street in Reen Road, posted pictures to Lost and Found Facebook pages and rang around vet surgeries hoping Kit would be found, until finally, a beacon of hope — Kit had been spotted in Sawyers Valley.
“I had her best mate Lola the kelpie with me and I took her blue blanket with me,” she said.
“When I got there, I got out of the car and just started yelling ‘here kit, here kit’ and whistling.
“All of a sudden she came just screaming out of the bush.
“She diverted straight to Lola and I threw her little blankie down and she just started kneading on it.
“I was choked with emotion, I couldn’t speak.
“When I picked her up she was snuggling into my face.
“I burst out crying and then it took me a little while to realise, oh my god I’ve got her.”
Now living in Greenmount, Kit, Lola and Ms Byrnes are inseparable.
“I think having Lola there really helped, she couldn’t get over that she’d seen Lola and Lola was licking her it was like a long-lost reunion, it was more about them than me,” Ms Byrnes said.
“I wish someone had been there filming it, just the look on her face it was like oh my god, it’s you, she couldn’t believe it.
“The power of social media is brilliant and it really has brought people together.”
Ms Byrnes, Lola and Kit shared their story in the hope it would bring joy to others struggling through the aftermath of the fire and other personal hardships.