“Scenarios like this will often boost the spirits of firefighters who have, for days, witnessed nothing but tragedy and destruction.”
Hidden amid the smoldering ruins of a region left devastated by the deadliest wildfire in California’s history, rescuers discovered a heartening sign that all was not lost.
And boy, was he happy to see them, too.
On Monday, while patrolling areas affected by the Camp Fire that were evacuated due to massive blaze, a crew from the Foster City Fire Department heard a sound they could not ignore — the desperate cries of a creature holed up under a bush.
It was a cat, but his species mattered little. First and foremost, he was a survivor in need of help. And the rescuers were happy to offer it.
The cat was understandably frightened at first, his seared whiskers and burned paws evidence that he’d had a brush with death. But soon the cat’s demeanor changed upon realizing his ordeal was finally over.
Firefighter Geoff Downing was able to coax the cat from his hiding spot, taking him warmly into his arm. In that moment, the rescuer and rescuee shared the same feelings of relief and joy.
They’d both found hope.
“[An] instant friendship was formed,” the fire department wrote online.
The cat was given food and water to regain his strength.
Firefighters dubbed him “Foster” — and in return, Foster gave them another reason to smile.
He picked Downing to be his perch.
Foster’s gratitude was clear, but the chance to help a life in need came as its own reward to his rescuers.
“Scenarios like this will often boost the spirits of firefighters who have, for days, witnessed nothing but tragedy and destruction,” the fire department wrote.
And it showed.
Later, Foster was placed under the care of the North Valley Animal Disaster Group for treatment. And, with any luck, the cat will soon reunite with his family from there.
“There have been good leads, and I’m hoping maybe today will be the day we find out some good news,” a fire department spokesperson told The Dodo on Thursday.
While the full extent of what was lost in the fire has yet to be counted as firefighters continue in their rescue and recovery efforts, stories like this one offer some much-needed reassurance, to both rescuers and those impacted, that hope still remains.