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Cat found nearly 3 weeks after fire

Feb. 26, 2013 at 3:15 PM

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A North Carolina woman said she and her partner were reunited with their cat nearly three weeks after she disappeared during a fire.

Emily Bunner, 30, and her partner, Kory Stuemke, 24, said they could not find the cat, Milagra, when they fled their Chapel Hill condo with their two other cats during a fire Jan. 27 and they have since been searching for the feline ever since, The Raleigh News and Observer reported Tuesday.

Bunner said there were "many false alerts" until she received a call Feb. 15 from an emergency construction worker who discovered a cat hiding out in the burnt remains of the couple's condo. The feline has burns on the backs of her legs and had lost about half her body weight, but Bunner said the cat was definitely their missing Milagra.

The couple said the worker who found the cat refused a $200 reward, saying finding the cat would make a good story for his children.

Bunner said Milagra hasn't stopped eating since arriving at the family's new apartment.

"It took a lot of time and daily effort to cover all the possible ways of searching and spreading the word, but she may not have made it much longer if she hadn't been recognized," she said.

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