Breaking News
More () »

Maryland woman reunited with pet cat after 5 years

A story that began with heartbreak ended in happy tears.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A story of a reunion is helping us get uplifted. It began over the Christmas holidays five years ago and ended right after the new year in 2023. The story starts with heartbreak, but ends in happy tears. 

Back in December of 2017, a black cat named Barack was traveling with his family from their Silver Spring home to Michigan when he escaped from his carrier during a pit stop in Pennsylvania. 

The cat managed to jump out of the car and, to his family's horror, run down an embankment and into the woods. For five years, Sambia Shivers-Barclay looked for Barack, never giving up hope.

Her faith finally paid off!

In January, Barack showed up at a farm in Pennsylvania, and thanks to the kindness of animal advocates, was eventually taken to a vet where he was examined and scanned for a microchip. 

That's when the folks at the 9th Life Rescue realized they had a very special feline. Shivers-Barclay said she could hardly believe it when she got the news.

"When I got the call and they said, 'Do you have a cat named Barack?' I said you've got to be kidding me! Yes, but he's been gone for over five years. They said, 'He's not gone, he's right here!'"

Their reunion after five years of wishing and waiting was caught on camera. Shivers-Barclay said she wasn't sure Barack would recognize her, but he did!

To add to the amazing story, although Barack was lost almost 200 miles from home, he was found just five minutes from where he went missing.

Shivers-Barclay's advice to pet owners is to get your little loved ones microchipped. 

If you have something you'd like to share, email us at GetUplifted@wusa9.com or contact Allison Seymour on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Be sure to subscribe to the Get Up DC newsletter, where we'll be sharing an uplifting story every morning as well.

WUSA9 is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the WUSA9 app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.

Before You Leave, Check This Out