One Southern California couple's beloved pet, who joined their house during the pandemic, has been found safe and returned to her family.

It's a happy ending for this all-too-common-these-days story of a stolen pet, only in this case, it was a tabby cat in a carrier who was likely stolen by mistake — while she may be priceless to her human family, tabby cats don't command the black-market value of French bulldogs these days. One-year-old cat Minnelusa, who was visiting San Francisco on a roadtrip with cat-parents Cesar Granados and Karla Cardoso before Christmas when she was stolen, was spotted on the street by a good Samaritan and has now happily returned home.

As the Chronicle reports, all the laminated flyers and media coverage did their job, and the unidentified savior recognized the cat, who was apparently wandering the streets on her own. The person called Granados and Cardoso Friday night just as they were sitting down to dinner, and they say that as soon as they confirmed that this was, in fact, Minnelusa, they hopped in their car and drove back up north from their home in Anaheim.

The fact that Minnelusa was found is all the more remarkable because she was not wearing a collar, was not microchipped, and does not even have any particularly distinctive coloring for a tabby cat. But perhaps the couple's descriptions of Minnelusa's "strong personality" are true, and she made her presence known.

Also, she didn't starve during her adventure in San Francisco — a few weeks after her disappearance, she appears a bit overweight. "I think she ate too much," Granados tells the Chronicle.

Granados and Cardoso had been in Muir Woods on December 20, and had come into the city to take a walk to Ghirardelli Square. They parked their car, with Minnelusa secure in a carrier in the backseat with a blanket over it, in a parking garage on Moulton Street in Cow Hollow. That's where a thief broke into the vehicle and stole the cat, likely believing they were stealing a piece of luggage with possible valuables inside.

The couple, who had traveled a lot with the cat during the pandemic — to the point that Minnelusa seemed more comfortable in the car than in their house — say that Minnelusa is back to her old tricks, and happily taking walks on a leash again.

There's no word on whether the good Samaritan collected the cash reward the couple was offering for Minnelusa's return.

Another stolen pet story over the holiday season, the case of a French bulldog stolen while on a walk with another dog in the Marina, also ended happily with the dog returned home.

Previously: SoCal Couple Offering Reward for Return of Beloved Cat Minnelusa, Who Was Stolen In Car Burglary In SF