“Dasha actually reacted like a person – they kissed.”
When one Friday evening, the weather forecast warned of a tornado, Bruce and Ona Dunlap suddenly turned off the television.
Bruce opened the front door of their house in Logan County, Arkansas, to see what was going on. “As he stepped outside, he said to Ona, ‘It’s awfully quiet outside and there’s no wind. I don’t hear anything'” said Julie Moore, a good friend of the couple. “Ona said, ‘Oh yes, there is wind. We have to go to the shelter right now.'”
They had no idea their house would be totally destroyed a few minutes later.
The couple hurried to the room of their handicapped housemate to help the man into the shelter. Meanwhile, Bruce was looking for their four cats and two dogs.
One of the cats, Ladybug, was nowhere to be seen and dog, Dasha, refused to go outside. Bruce was forced to leave without them.
“Dasha felt something was wrong and went to lie down in the kitchen,” said Moore. “Bruce didn’t know what to do… when he got to the shelter, he could barely close the door.”
The tornado raced past, ripped the roof off the Dunlap family’s house and scattered debris and stuff around. When it was finally safe to leave the shelter, it was so dark that they couldn’t even see which part of the house was still standing.
The next day, when Bruce and Ona were recording the damage with some friends, a familiar face suddenly emerged from the rubble. “Dasha came running, like she was saying, ‘Why did it take so long?'” Moore said. “Ona grabbed her coat tightly, took her face in her hands and said ‘I’m so sorry. We’re here now.'”
Moore took some pictures of the moving reunion. “Ona talks to her like she’s human and Dasha actually reacted like a person – they kissed.”
Ona and Bruce were very grateful for the safe return of Dasha, but there was no trace of their cat, Ladybuy.
Then a miracle happened: the cat found her owners again. “She was wet, cold and trembling all over,” says Moore. “Ona grabbed her, started removing debris from her coat and hugged her.”
Moore adds, “When they found Dasha and Ladybug, Bruce said, ‘There are your children.'”
The Dunlap family still has a long way to go in recovery, but they are grateful to have survived this disaster. Fortunately, they are supported by their community that helps them in every possible way.
The tornado took so much away from them, but they still have each other – and that is the most important thing.