JAMESTOWN - In terms of key personalities in Jamestown, no personality was stronger than Joey Howlett's. He was the heart and soul of the community. Everyone loved him.
Howlett was killed in September, when flood waters poured in to Jamestown. He was inside his home at the time when a mudslide gushed down the mountain behind his property.
"It was kind of sloshing back and forth down the canyon and just boom! Right in to his bedroom," said Anne Breiler, a friend of Howlett's who lives in Jamestown.
Howlett was the only one home at the time, aside from his cat, Shadow. For the better part of 13 years, Shadow was Howlett's best friend. The pair were similar.
"She's just like Joey. He was a love sponge. But quite independent," Breiler said.
After the flood, the town folk looked for Shadow, but she was nowhere to be found. Then 40 days later, out of nowhere, she appeared.
"Someone was walking past Joey's house, one of our neighbors. And she saw something moving up there. And oh my God! It was Shadow!" Breiler said.
Out of the darkness and in to the light, a shadow appeared. How she did it and survived for 40 days in the muck and debris is a mystery.
People who live in Jamestown are just grateful she survived. For the most part, Shadow was in good health. However, she did have to have a leg amputated.
"When she came out she had a compound fracture to her left lower leg. It really wasn't repairable so we had to amputate," Breiler said.
The community came together and helped raise funds for the surgery. Those who couldn't afford to help out, would stop by to see how Shadow was doing.
"That's the sort of community we live in," Breiler said.
Breiler helped nurse Shadow after her surgery. Shadow was recently adopted by one of Joey's old friends. Shadow will continue to live in Jamestown like she has for the last 13 years.
To learn more about Shadow, follow this link: http://jamestownconnect.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/shadow/
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