JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) -- Surely, Lavern the cat has used all of her nine lives.
The cat's owners found her alive and basically well, 16 days after she was buried under the rubble left when a tornado destroyed their home in Joplin.
Terrla and J.E. Cruse went back to the house Tuesday to look for paperwork needed for a Federal Emergency Management Agency application. They hadn't seen Lavern since the tornado and had given up hope of finding the 13-year-old animal.
Terrla Cruse says she was talking to her sister when she heard a cat meow.
She and her sister followed the meowing. They dug through the rubble and unearthed Lavern, thinner and dehydrated but alive. The Joplin Globe reports that a veterinarian says Lavern will make a complete recovery.
Information from: The Joplin Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)