Fairdale celebrations: Family finds missing cat, two boys hit bi - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Fairdale celebrations: Family finds missing cat, two boys hit birthday milestone

FAIRDALE, Ill. (WREX) - A full week after tornadoes swept through our area, all the people have been accounted for. But not the pets. Today, a Fairdale family got a special reunion they were hoping for.

13 News reporter Rebecca Klopf was with the family as Shari Novotny found her cat.

She was there with her husband, sons and three pets Thursday, April 9.

"We have a dog that we took down with us. but the cats, it came too fast. It just came too fast we didn't have time to find them," Novotny says. They came up from the basement to see their house torn apart. But Novotny's family was focused on their missing pets. They found one cat, but the other, Dexter, was gone.

 Novotny says every day since the tornado, her family has come back to their home looking for their cat. They had given up hope of ever finding him.

"We were digging out under the bed and when things came out under the bed our cat came out with it," Novotny says.

Novotny's sons has not even seen their missing cat yet. She and her husband gathered Dexter from the house then took off back to Kirkland to reunite him.

"Our family is complete now that we got everybody back," Novotny said.

And that wasn't the only celebration for Fairdale residents.

Ryder Thick turned 1 and Oliver Thick turned 2 the day after the tornado hit.

According to their parents, the brothers were blessed to see their birthdays.

"We rode it out in the van. We were going. We saw a house fly in front of us. So we decided to stop. We just covered up the kids and we made it through," says Chris Thick, the boys' father.

The family had been trying to reach the Kirkland fire station to ride out the storm. They came home to find their house barely standing. "It's condemned; it's coming down."

Their focus now is on their family. The boys missed their birthdays, but they are planning a party over the weekend.

"You never expect it and you don't know how you would handle it, but there's been so much support in the community," says Jackie Jordan, the boys' mother.

Governor Rauner met with the Thick family. They shared their story of survival with him. 
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