Firefighters turned up in droves to help contain the blazing Camp Fire. They hailed from different parts of the country, but they had one common goal: put out the fire and save lives.
While human lives were definitely saved, there are plenty of other critters who have a reason to be thankful for the firefighters, too.
Wildlife and domesticated animals have both benefited from the care and concern of these dedicated men and women, and the creature this fireman found is no different.
Ryan Coleman is an Engine Captain with the Fairview Valley Fire Department, and got to the scene of the fire on Nov. 10, ready to take care of business.
“On scene of the Camp Fire, and starting shift #1,” he posted to Facebook. “My heart and prayers go out to the more than 2,000 families that lost their homes [and] all the people that lost loved ones.”
“Hoping for the safety of my crew and fellow firefighters. I’m excited to be here helping out, and I’m ready to get started doing what we do!”
Apparently, doing what he does involves rescuing displaced felines. The soft gray tabby found him, or vice versa, as he and his crew were protecting a structure that was being threatened by the fire.
The cat took an immediate shine to him, and there are plenty of photos showing the cat contentedly perched on Coleman’s shoulder. While some cats are aloof and distant, this one was the exact opposite, and she made it clear just how much she appreciated Coleman by rubbing her face against his chin and generally pestering him.
“Kitty rescue,” he posted on Facebook Nov. 13. “She just chilled on my neck and shoulders as I’d walk around.”
He told ViralHog “We found a cat while doing structure protection in the area of Yankee Hill and Hwy 70 on the Camp Fire. We secured the fire around the property, mitigated the hazards, and provided care for the cat (food, water, shelter, and love).”
“After I posted a video of the cat, I was contacted by the owner who requested that we leave it in the care of their neighbor and not bring it to one of the animal shelters.”
“They identified specific things about the property and area from the video so I deemed they were the true owners of the cat. So, the end result was the cat was left in the care of their neighbor.”
Fortunately this story had a happy ending, and the cat didn’t seem distressed or hurt.
While many animals affected by the fire are being taken to shelters so they can receive care and treatment, it’s always best to keep displaced domestic animals close to home so their owners don’t lose track of them and they don’t take up space other animals could use.
Smart cat, too, to go for the humans — whether she was just really friendly or knew that people would help her, her friendliness got her on camera and ultimately back into the care of the people who know her.
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