A Christmas Miracle  

By Vic Kohring, December 26, 2018 

On Christmas Day, our family received the best gift ever when our missing furry friend - a kitty named Sampson - suddenly appeared on our front porch happily meowing his head off after being gone for over two weeks. 

It was almost surreal to see Sampson again. I thought I may be hallucinating as our optimism for his safe return had seriously waned. We had received eight inches of snow following his disappearance and temperatures fell into single digits, with one night dropping to nine below. Worrying and wondering each passing day was a painful, heartbreaking process. I feared the worst that we may never see him again and shed many tears. 

We concluded that my “little brother’s” only chance for survival was if someone was kind to take him in and provide food, water, and shelter. It would be next to impossible for him to survive such harsh winter conditions, particularly without water. 

By Day 3 of Sampson’s disappearance, I embarked on a campaign to seek his whereabouts, refusing to give up without a fight and shifting my efforts into overdrive. I put up posters around the neighborhood and knocked on 125 doors. I posted notices on CraigsList, Alaska’s List, and various public Facebook sites. The time involved was reminiscent of one of my campaigns for public office. But it was well worth it because we knew our friend was out there somewhere.

My theory was, if Sampson was taken in and thought to be a stray (he’s a very desirable cat - awesome-looking with his huge, lynx-like paws and big, round face, scary smart as if human and super lovey-dovey), perhaps that family would eventually see his poster or handout and realize he belonged to someone and that they probably missed him a lot.

Some may ask, Why all the fuss over a cat?  The simple answer is, Sampson’s a very special part of our family whom we love dearly. Feline, canine or human, it doesn’t matter. So if something bad happens, we take it seriously and do everything possible to help. I guess you have to be a pet owner to fully understand. I know many local animal fanatics like me can relate.

Whoever took care of Sampson, we express our profound gratitude. Thank you for keeping my buddy warm and safe and for feeding him. He returned to us a little plumper than before, so you obviously fed him things he enjoyed! We appreciate your kindness.

We also wish to thank those who helped in our search. Many offered prayers, promised to keep an eye out and networked with others. Local animal shelters prepared “lost reports.” Compassionate people such as Jennifer Smith of HELP, a pet lost and found advocacy group, along with her son Robert, got word out and generously provided posters. We live in a very caring community - and one that loves animals.

We consider it a miracle that Sampson returned to us healthy and without a scratch after so long. And to do so on Christmas Day of all days, made it extra special. What started off as a sad day ended with happiness. A real success story and answer to prayers. 

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France