Cat escapes couple camping in Columbia Gorge, returned 6 weeks later: 'She was so happy'


CASCADE LOCKS, Ore. – A house cat is back her family in Portland after being lost in the Columbia River Gorge for weeks.

It’s an annual tradition for Kim and Brian Rusch to go camping at Ainsworth State Park with their two cats – Sugar & Spice.

This year, however, their beloved Sugar ran away.

“We were clipping her nails… and she just got away from my wife and I tried catching her and I just missed her,” said Brian.

The couple says they searched for days-- putting up signs and setting traps.

“I was sick, I cried an awful lot, none of us could eat,” Kim said.

Just when they were about to give up hope, Brian said they got a phone call Saturday morning from a park ranger.

“We were out gardening, picking blueberries, and we immediately dropped everything and went running up there,” he said. “She was happy when we took her out of the vet’s, and she could see us.”

Besides a case of fleas and losing a couple pounds, Sugar is doing alright.

But her adventures aren't over. The couple says they'll keep camping with the cats, with some new limitations.

“We won't let her go that close to the door if it opens, not going to go through that again," said Kim.

Park rangers helped set the traps, but it was the couple's trap that eventually got Sugar back.

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