“She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.”
– Mark Twain
(The following excerpt taken from The Twister Stole My Pet: How Cats, Dogs and a Donkey Survived Oklahoma” by Christine Pelisek originally appeared on The Daily Beast on May 23, 2013. To view this article in its entirety please click on the link below.)
When the twister tore through Moore, Mona Thomas lost everything. “My house is leveled,” the 52-year-old grandmother said on Wednesday. “I don’t have a home anymore.”
Even so, all she cared about was her parrot.“He’s been an important part of my life,” she said of Leroy, a 9-year-old African gray. “I’m single, so it’s just me and him. I talk about him all the time. He’s like my kid.”
Fortunately, two days after the storm ripped through, Leroy and Mona’s story found a happy ending: the beloved was tracked down to a nearby foster home. Leroy had survived, but had an injured wing and a scuffed beak. “He doesn’t look good,” Thomas reported.
Mona Thomas is just one of hundreds of Moore residents who were separated from their pets during the tornado. In the days afterward, an ad hoc network of Facebook pages, temporary shelters, volunteer veterinarians, and even a Reddit subthread have sprung up to help residents reunite with their beloved animals. Dogs, cats, horses, birds, even a donkey – they’ve all been lost and found. One animal welfare worker even found a live sheltie in a tree.