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CANFIELD, Ohio — When a little girl’s cat went missing right before the holidays, she knew exactly who she had to ask for help.

Santa Claus himself.

Monique Marks said her daughter, Ava, 7, actually has two six-month-old cats: Simba and Shiva. The Marks adopted them in August when they were eight weeks old.

In early November, Shiva went missing. They live in a rural area with not much around, so Monique and her husband searched for her on foot.

“We kind of gave up looking for her after about a week or so with coyotes and things out where we live,” she said.

Then, Ava took matters into her own hands.

“She wrote a letter to Santa asking to find her cat, because that’s literally the only thing she wanted for Christmas,” said Monique.

Little Ava wrote: “Dear Santa, Can you find my cat Shiva please. I really miss her. She is black and she is a kitty.  From Ava Marks.”

Two weeks later, her Christmas wish came true.

Shiva was brought to Angels for Animals, where she was checked for a microchip. The Marks have microchips for both cats as well as for their two dogs.

“(Angels for Animals) called, and said they found her,” said Monique. “They called Saturday night and let us know she was there. Actually, my husband answered the phone over speaker phone in the car; our daughter’s face lit up.”

Little Shiva was found within about a three-mile radius of her home. She’s now home safe, much to Ava’s and Simba’s relief.

As for Santa’s role?

“(Ava) thinks he helped,” said Monique. “She said ‘I know he’s not the one who brought her to Angels for Animals,’ but she thinks he helped her.”

Angels for Animals shared the family’s story Sunday and emphasized the importance of microchipping.

“Microchipping is the best and cheapest insurance you can buy for your pet,” their post states. “Happy endings like this are priceless.”