All Yvonne Hoff wanted for Christmas was the return of her beloved lost cat, Bam Bam. And she found him – sitting on Santa’s lap, albeit after the holidays were over.

Bam Bam had been missing since November. Almost two months after his disappearance, Yvonne, who lives in Almena, Wis., was searching petfinder.org’s database of adoptable animals throughout the United States.

She searched for a cat that fit Bam Bam’s description, within 100 miles of where she lives, and ultimately found a link featuring him online at North St. Paul’s no-kill shelter, Caring for Cats.

The shelter’s volunteers named the cat Frankie and in December photographed him sitting on Santa’s lap, lovingly nuzzling his beard.

“I saw that picture,” Yvonne says, “and I grabbed my husband and said, ‘Jerid, look at this!'”

After contacting the shelter, the Hoffs still weren’t sure the cat in the picture was theirs. But on Jan. 4, the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary, they made the hour-long drive from Almena, a small town in Barren County, to North St. Paul to see for themselves. They didn’t tell their children about their journey in case the cat wasn’t Bam Bam after all. “We didn’t want them to be disappointed,” Yvonne says.

When the Hoffs entered Caring for Cats, the 7-year-old tomcat was sitting atop a refrigerator, a favorite perch for Bam Bam at home. He approached them immediately, purring, and climbed into Yvonne’s arms. “It was like a dream,” Yvonne says.

Caring for Cats’ shelter has the felines divided by rooms furnished with beds, toys, food, water and litter boxes. Cats with medical needs have their own cages and room as well, but others are free to roam about, especially when volunteers check in daily.

How far did Bam Bam go?
The Hoffs have tried to reconstruct what happened the chilly November day Bam Bam disappeared.

“He’d ‘hitchhiked’ before,” Yvonne says with a chuckle, adding that her husband — who works as a contractor — had shooed Bam Bam out of the enclosed back of his truck on more than one occasion.

Jerid didn’t notice his extra passenger on the morning Bam Bam made his epic journey. It’s likely that Bam Bam hopped out of the truck bed at either the Mills Fleet Farm gas station in Oakdale or at the Lake Elmo job site where Jerid was working that day, he says.

Yvonne did everything she could think of to find her cat: plastering her village with posters and placing several ads in her local paper. One ad read, “All I want for Christmas” and featured a picture of Bam Bam and her son.

Bam Bam was one lucky cat; five days after he’d gone missing, he came out of the woods to greet a group of people leaving the Wildwood Library in Mahtomedi. The group, from Caring for Cats, happened to be at the library for a meeting about the upcoming expansion of the shelter.

“He let me come right up to pet him,” says volunteer Kelley Schmidt. “He looked well fed, and he was super friendly, but I was worried because the road (by the library) is busy and it was bitterly cold.”

While Schmidt canvassed the neighborhood and library to make sure no one was looking for a lost cat, fellow volunteers John Rybak and Noah Gerding sat with Bam Bam in their running car. When Schmidt’s search came up empty-handed, they alerted Animal Control officers and Bam Bam was taken to Caring for Cats.

“We thought it was a kind of sign from God, having this kitty show up the day we’re meeting to award a contractor for our expansion,” Schmidt says.

The happenstance meeting was good for Bam Bam, too. “Finding him was destiny,” Schmidt adds. “We (normally) never meet at that library.”

Look near and far
Time passed and no one contacted Animal Control or the shelter about Bam Bam, so he was put on the adoption list.

He appeared at several adoption events, and although people had taken an interest in the mature tomcat, he still didn’t have a new home.

Meanwhile, Jerid was driving down Division Street in North St. Paul, where the shelter is located, every day on his way to his job site. He had no inkling his family’s cat was there, until Yvonne found Bam Bam online.

Once reunited with Bam Bam, Yvonne reflected on the amount of miles that had come between her and her family’s beloved pet. “I didn’t do a broad enough search,” she says. “I could have reconnected with him a lot sooner.

“If you lose a pet and live close to a border state, make sure you check the border state, too,” she adds.

[SOURCE: ]

All Yvonne Hoff wanted for Christmas was the return of her beloved lost cat, Bam Bam. And she found him – sitting on Santa’s lap.

Bam Bam had been missing since November. Almost two months after his disappearance, Yvonne, who lives in Almena, Wis., was searching petfinder.org’s database of adoptable animals throughout the United States.

She searched for a cat that fit Bam Bam’s description, within 100 miles of where she lives, and ultimately found a link featuring him online at North St. Paul’s no-kill shelter, Caring for Cats.

The shelter’s volunteers named the cat Frankie and in December photographed him sitting on Santa’s lap, lovingly nuzzling his beard.

“I saw that picture,” Yvonne says, “and I grabbed my husband and said, ‘Jerid, look at this!'”

After contacting the shelter, the Hoffs still weren’t sure the cat in the picture was theirs. But on Jan. 4, the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary, they made the hour-long drive from Almena, a small town in Barren County, to North St. Paul to see for themselves. They didn’t tell their children about their journey in case the cat wasn’t Bam Bam after all. “We didn’t want them to be disappointed,” Yvonne says.

When the Hoffs entered Caring for Cats, the 7-year-old tomcat was sitting atop a refrigerator, a favorite perch for Bam Bam at home. He approached them immediately, purring, and climbed into Yvonne’s arms. “It was like a dream,” Yvonne says.

Caring for Cats’ shelter has the felines divided by rooms furnished with beds, toys, food, water and litter boxes. Cats with medical needs have their own cages and room as well, but others are free to roam about, especially when volunteers check in daily.

How far did Bam Bam go?
The Hoffs have tried to reconstruct what happened the chilly November day Bam Bam disappeared.

“He’d ‘hitchhiked’ before,” Yvonne says with a chuckle, adding that her husband — who works as a contractor — had shooed Bam Bam out of the enclosed back of his truck on more than one occasion.

Jerid didn’t notice his extra passenger on the morning Bam Bam made his epic journey. It’s likely that Bam Bam hopped out of the truck bed at either the Mills Fleet Farm gas station in Oakdale or at the Lake Elmo job site where Jerid was working that day, he says.

Yvonne did everything she could think of to find her cat: plastering her village with posters and placing several ads in her local paper. One ad read, “All I want for Christmas” and featured a picture of Bam Bam and her son.

Bam Bam was one lucky cat; five days after he’d gone missing, he came out of the woods to greet a group of people leaving the Wildwood Library in Mahtomedi. The group, from Caring for Cats, happened to be at the library for a meeting about the upcoming expansion of the shelter.

“He let me come right up to pet him,” says volunteer Kelley Schmidt. “He looked well fed, and he was super friendly, but I was worried because the road (by the library) is busy and it was bitterly cold.”

While Schmidt canvassed the neighborhood and library to make sure no one was looking for a lost cat, fellow volunteers John Rybak and Noah Gerding sat with Bam Bam in their running car. When Schmidt’s search came up empty-handed, they alerted Animal Control officers and Bam Bam was taken to Caring for Cats.

“We thought it was a kind of sign from God, having this kitty show up the day we’re meeting to award a contractor for our expansion,” Schmidt says.

The happenstance meeting was good for Bam Bam, too. “Finding him was destiny,” Schmidt adds. “We (normally) never meet at that library.”

Look near and far
Time passed and no one contacted Animal Control or the shelter about Bam Bam, so he was put on the adoption list.

He appeared at several adoption events, and although people had taken an interest in the mature tomcat, he still didn’t have a new home.

Meanwhile, Jerid was driving down Division Street in North St. Paul, where the shelter is located, every day on his way to his job site. He had no inkling his family’s cat was there, until Yvonne found Bam Bam online.

Once reunited with Bam Bam, Yvonne reflected on the amount of miles that had come between her and her family’s beloved pet. “I didn’t do a broad enough search,” she says. “I could have reconnected with him a lot sooner.

“If you lose a pet and live close to a border state, make sure you check the border state, too,” she adds.

[SOURCE: Oakdale Lake Elmo Review]