CLINTON, Ark. – Charlie Brown is down to seven lives.
Donna and Danny Pistole's black-and-white cat survived a February tornado that destroyed the family's mobile home, coming out of nearby woods skittish but no worse for wear. However, the cat took up refuge in a large pile of debris from the storm that the Pistoles set afire last Sunday while cleaning up their property.
Thursday, Donna Pistole followed Charlie Brown's weak meows and found him stuck in briars. His paws and nose were scorched, his eyes matted shut and his coat singed a dingy yellow — but he was alive.
That night, Charlie Brown underwent an exam by veterinarian Doug Mays.
"He smells like an old, scorched wool blanket," Mays said. "His feet pads are peeling off. But they'll heal. I think he'll be OK."
The Pistoles sought shelter in a storm cellar during the tornado. Donna Pistole took one of their cats, Bubby, but couldn't find Charlie Brown and fellow feline Sanbo.
Sanbo is still missing.
"I think the storm got him because we haven't seen him since the storm," Danny Pistole said. "Two's enough, I guess."