Willow Fire Miracle
Two Kitties Wander Wasteland for Weeks
A woman named Pamela called FieldHaven with a story almost too miraculous to believe. Her home burned down in September during the Willow Fire – nothing but ash, a few bricks, and melted metal. She’d gone to Oregon to stay with a friend, thinking her mostly indoor cats Julian and Rifiki, ages 14 and 16, had died in the blaze.
About a month later, Pamela got a call from her neighbors saying the cats had been sighted. Hurrying back, Pamela learned her in-laws couldn’t take the cats. The neighbors who’d called her couldn’t take them. She had no home herself and was desperate to save the two cats, who had been fending for themselves for weeks in the burned-out wilderness and had become too skittish to be caught easily. Pamela called FieldHaven.
FieldHaven’s Community/Cat Assistance Team (CAT) volunteer Trish Milthorpe answered the phone. Two big tasks awaited: catch the cats, and find a home for not one but two elderly cats, which are always difficult to place.
FieldHaven coordinated with Pamela and, after about two weeks, one cat was caught. Two days later, the other was caught. They were extremely thin.
Meanwhile, Trish posted their story to every pet, cat rescue, and adoption social media page within 200 miles. Other groups helped spread the word.
Eventually, a woman named Kris in the Bay Area agreed to take both and a transfer was made in Vacaville with the still-traumatized cats. They are safely in their new home and slowly coming out of their shells, Rifiki a little faster than Julian.
Kris wrote, The cats “lived in that quagmire for a month! It’s a miracle they survived, much less came home. I am so grateful to Trish for working so hard and tirelessly for them, and I am grateful to share their golden years.”