It has been 14 years since Plurna the stuffed cat first went missing from Emily Bauer’s sandbox.
At the time, Emily had only been 4 years old when her beloved toy disappeared—but the pain of its disappearance had never quite healed until Plurna miraculously reappeared earlier this week.
According to Emily’s mother Susan Wise Bauer, Plurna’s disappearance had become a legendary part of the family’s history at their home in Charles City, Virginia. She still remembers the day that Emily lost Plurna—and the frantic search and rescue mission that follow.
“We searched and searched,” Bauer wrote in a Facebook post. “We combed the yard and looked under the house. We even dug up the whole sandbox. No Plurna.
“Emily was DEVASTATED. Tears for weeks. Intermittent tears for months. I’m not kidding you—I wouldn’t have mentioned Plurna to her even now that she’s eighteen, because of the deep well of pain and loss associated with the disappearance of Plurna.
“In fact, when we visited old friends on the West Coast last week, we were telling when-the-kids-were-little stories, and Plurna was prominently featured,” she added.
So imagine Bauer’s shock when she was suddenly approached by her farm manager saying that he had found a little stuffed cat as he was putting up new fencing for the goats on their 100-acre property.
Despite how he had found the toy covered in moss and dirt at the base of the tree, it was unmistakably Plurna.
Not only had she survived 14 years in the woods, she was also entirely intact.
Still “gobsmacked” by the discovery, Bauer and her husband excitedly brought the toy up to Emily’s room—and the 18-year-old was speechless.
Emily then spent the next few hours using a pair of tweezers to pluck out all the moss and roots from Plurna’s fur before giving her a proper bath—and despite how she says that the toy still smells like dirt after its ordeal in the woods, she is almost as good as new.
Bauer later posted the heartwarming story to Facebook where Plurna’s photos have now been shared thousands of times.
“It’s not a miracle—I don’t want to overstate this story—but all of our jaws are hanging open,” wrote Bauer.
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