Saturday, April 18, 2015

Your cat may have survived the wildfire

When a homeowner loses their house in a wildfire, they assume their cat has perished. That may be the case, but unless you find the sad evidence your cat did not make it, you should assume your cat has survived.

After the Bastrop, Texas wildfires last year there were anecdotal stories about pets who were locked in homes, and who were thought to have died, but who were later found in shelters. Speculation was that when the fire was inevitable, firemen broke windows on homes in case there were animals inside. In any event, heat can break glass. Of course cats are notorious for hiding during fires, but sometimes that hiding place will save the cat. Here is a story of a cat who hid in a couch and survived a house fire.

Then there is the remarkable story of two cats who survived a wildfire:
He and the firemen discovered that one of our cats, Abe, was in there and alive. He had been trapped under a table by the collapsed roof and other debris. They got him out and he seemed basically okay. [Abe in fact had lung damage and was treated in an oxygen chamber and recovered.]
Another cat, Adam, survived [this was an apartment complex burned in a California wildfire]
They went up to the apartment, broke down the door, and rescued him. He was soaking wet, covered in dirt, ash, and debris, without food and water . . . They took him down to the shelter where he was checked out by the vet, treated for smoke inhalation but was otherwise ok. He was released back to the shelter. The shelter had identified him as a 3 year old female (he is an 8.5 year old male). So when [the family] went looking for him on the web site, he was not there. [The family] did see this 3 year old female that looked a lot like Adam, but because the cat was listed a female . . . skipped over "her."
NEVER trust a FOUND listing as to sex/age/breed or spay/neuter status. If the animal pictured may be your animal, go check. Better yet, go to look at the animals that have been rescued. Take a "LOST" poster to leave there and talk to shelter staff and raise awareness about the animal you are looking for.
These are not the only instances of cats found to have survived a fire:
Then there is the lost cat who was rescued after a wildfire which was miles away from the safe home where he went missing.
This is not to give grieving families false hope, but you should look for evidence that your cat may have survived. If you see that a cat is in the area, contact local rescues for help in trapping the cat. The cat you save just might be your baby!