By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

ALMENA, Wis. (WCCO) — A cat from Wisconsin made quite the journey, giving his family a big scare in the process. Just when everyone had given up hope of finding him, Santa helped reunite a family.

In the Hoff household, there is an ongoing game of cat and rugrat, a game that went on an unexpected hiatus in November.

“Andrew was asking where Bam Bam was,” said Yvonne Hoff.

Bam Bam, a 7-year-old tabby cat, had a history of wandering off, but never for weeks at a time.

“Started getting worried, hoping something didn’t happen to him,” said Hoff.

With Christmas not far away, the family had one wish and they put it to paper.

“The ad we put in said, ‘All I want for Christmas,’ and had a picture of Bam Bam,” she said.

Santa did not deliver, at least not until January when an Internet search turned up a picture on a pet adoption site. There, sitting on the jolly old elf, was a familiar face.

“It looked so much like him that we didn’t want to believe it wasn’t,” said Hoff. “I knew my search was broad. It had gone from close to home to far away.”

From Almena, Wis. to Oakdale, Minn., Bam Bam walked right into the arms of the people at Caring for Cats, a no-kill cat adoption agency.

“At least a hundred miles, with a river, busy highways and woods,” said Noah Gerding of Caring for Cats. “We were getting into our cars and out comes this tabby cat. He instantly starts giving us love.”

Once he arrived at the shelter, Bam Bam became “Frankie,” one of dozens of cats looking for a home. All the while, his owner was driving past the pet adoption center every day.

“(I was) not thinking to stop and think the cat might be there,” said Jerid Hoff.

As fate would have it, no family connected with Frankie, even though he attended numerous adoption fairs.

“Cats often know things that people don’t. I think he was waiting for his family,” said Gerding.

“I’m really grateful he didn’t get adopted,” said Yvonne Hoff.

There’s an old saying that a picture can say a thousand words, but it can also do so much more. It can reunite a family.

“To actually find him like that in a picture, I can’t believe it, still can’t,” said Hoff.

The Hoff family thinks Bam Bam hitched a ride in their truck and jumped out in Minnesota. They also happened to find their cat on their 10th wedding anniversary.

Comments (10)
  1. BWCAW says:

    I have rescue cat that looks like almost exactly like Bam Bam i adopted. She was in the rescue agency shelter over a month as i visit often. As i thought know one cared for her looks and seeing other cats come an go over that month, i adopted her myself. 🙂 She makes me happier then ever >:)

  2. Rufus says:


    1. Olaf says:

      I hate cats and I don’t care if you hate me.

      1. tenfortynineAM says:

        You’re a moron.

  3. Steve says:

    Now Now Billy go take your meds before you do it again. Be a good boy and go to bed. You will feel better in the morning,

  4. John says:

    Barn Barn was just trying to ditch voting on the Wisconsin Bill.

  5. BVB says:

    I love Cats. Have two of them myself. What a touching article! I love to see more of these posted here. Events in the world today is so not uplifting, negative, hostile, and so are peoples attitudes. I love to see more postings of warm and endearing articles, that put a smile on your face.

  6. Nancy Aleshire says:

    Nice story about Bam Bam, it made our day. There is a show on Animal Planet on Saturday night for us cat lovers. It is called “Must Love Cats”.

  7. Michelle says:

    It might be a good idea to put a collar and ID tag on Bam Bam.

  8. Kathryn Mitchell says:

    So happy that Bam Bam was reunited with his humans! He looks so much like my Raja…

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