The Eyes of a Demon
By FieldHaven Feline Center
It has been eleven months. Eleven months since the entire town of Paradise and half of Magalia burned, leaving nearly 30,000 people without a home. With the fire moving so fast, most residents were not able to evacuate with their pets.
For the next seven and a half months, FieldHaven worked side-by-side with numerous organizations and individuals to rescue nearly 700 cats from the fire zone. Our main efforts were to reunite trapped cats with their owners. We had so many happy, joyous reunions and, unbelievably, eleven months later, they are still happening!
Such is the case with Demon and his dad, Aaron, who were reunited last week, just a few properties down from where they used to live in Paradise.
On March 25, 2019, a trapper brought a cat into the Alley Cat Allies Transfer Station in Paradise where we were sheltering cats from the fire zone. “CF769” was stunningly beautiful with ice blue eyes, but was as mean as he was beautiful. He was feral and “very, very angry” as he was described by the intake team. It was typical for a cat to act extremely feral on intake only to settle down several days later…and even become downright friendly. This was not the case with CF769. He only got angrier and angrier, to the point that we would only allow staff to care for him. His picture was shared far and wide, hoping someone would recognize him.
A couple of weeks went by with no response. Since CF769 was acting more and more stressed in captivity, he was neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and released back to the feeding station where he was found. As part of the TNR treatment, CF769 was also ear-tipped for easy identification that he had already been caught.
Then this happened last week:
Paradise resident Daniela began feeding a cat that showed up at her house. Every day, he would sit in the driveway of a burned house, two doors down. Even though he wasn’t the friendliest cat she encountered, something told her he belonged to someone. She posted his pictures in hope of finding his owner. A lady said her son, Aaron, who had lived two doors down from Daniela, had a cat resembling the photo. She said his cat was originally feral and could still show it at times. An online matcher, Brenda Boone, who hails from Colorado, started putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Thinking it might be a match, she sent the picture to Aaron. He told Brenda that his cat, Demon, had a scar near his left eye. Daniela looked. Yes, the scar was there!
Demon was scanned for a microchip since he was now sporting an ear tip, which he didn’t have before the fire. The all-telling “beep” tracked him back to FieldHaven and we were able to tell Aaron a little bit of what Demon /CF769 had been up to for the past eleven months. When we told him how angry Demon was, Aaron explained:
“Yes, he’s temperamental. He acts in no way like that around me, but I’ve seen it with other people. He’s a hunter and does really well in the wild. He’s the biggest lover around me though. I appreciate you so, so much for your patience. He’s so happy at home with me. He hasn’t forgotten who I am.”
Sounds like Demon has earned his name…and he obviously loves his dad! Aaron added this message of encouragement to other Camp Fire survivors:
Aaron added this message of encouragement to other Camp Fire survivors:
“I just wanted to say, ‘Please don’t lose hope on finding your cats. My buddy Demon surfaced at my old neighbor’s house. He was hanging out on my property even though it was destroyed, waiting for me to find him. After not seeing him for 11 months we were finally reunited with the help of these campfire pages and their followers. Please don’t lose hope. Chances are your pets may be close to your properties.’ ”
While we are no longer actively involved in trapping and sheltering Camp Fire cats, we are still helping to facilitate reunions and care for unclaimed or surrendered Camp Fire cats awaiting adoption.
These family reunions happen because of you and your support! Thank you for helping Demon and Aaron be together once again.
Stoic is the one Camp Fire cat in FieldHaven’s care still waiting to find his forever family. You can view information about Stoic and apply to adopt him here. (Update: Stoic has since been adopted)