FARGO - Vicki Hartz was on the board of the Humane Society Fargo-Moorhead, now Homeward Animal Shelter, in 1997. That year, almost all the residents of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks evacuated the cities because of the flood.

As people evacuated their homes, animals needed to be rescued as well. Amid the disaster, a stray kitten was rescued and brought to the Grand Forks Humane Society and from there, along with other animals, was flown by helicopter to Fargo.

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Hartz was at a board meeting at the Humane Society when the director brought in the rescued kitten from Grand Forks. “This is exactly how it happened,” Hartz said. “The director comes in with this little kitten and she says, ‘This is one of the little animals we just got in from Grand Forks.’ Then I said, ‘Oh could I hold her?’

“Then she gave her to me to hold her and I just, I don’t know, felt a little bond with her already and she was so tiny and helpless and soon as I was able to adopt her, my daughter and I went and picked her up and brought her to our house.” They named the kitten Alli and she is 21-and-a-half-years old now. That is about 100 in human years.

Alli had pneumonia once and a few other issues, but pulled through each of them. Hartz said the last time Alli had a check-up, her veterinarian said he thought Alli probably is the oldest cat the clinic has as a client.

“She still walks fine. She jumps up to get to her cat food dish and everything yet. She’s frail. You can tell she’s thinner,” Hartz said. “She’d run around and now she sleeps most of the time. Sleeps, eats, then goes back and sleeps or something. She would play with toys and she had a another little cat that was her friend and they would sleep together in the same bed. I never had any cats do that before, but those two were little buddies. He got sick so she lost him, but she’s just been a wonderful cat to have. I’ve just loved her.”

Check out the video about Alli. For more information on adopting or fostering cats and dogs, visit Homeward Animal Shelter at homewardonline.org/adoption-foster-info/.