Hidden Rescuers uncovered a reassuring sign that all was not lost among the smoking remains of an area ravaged by the worst wildfire in California history.
And he was overjoyed to see them, too.
On Monday, a team from the Foster City Fire Department was patrolling neighborhoods affected by the Camp Fire that had been evacuated owing to the enormous wildfire when they heard a sound they couldn’t ignore: the frantic cries of a critter locked up behind a bush.
It was a cat, but the species didn’t matter. He was, first and foremost, a survivor in need of assistance. And the rescuers were pleased to provide it.
The cat was understandably terrified at first, his charred whiskers and scorched paws indicating a near-death experience. When the cat realized his suffering was finally ended, his mood altered.
Geoff Downing, a firefighter, was able to persuade the cat out of its hiding place and take him lovingly into his arms. The rescuer and the rescuee both felt relieved and happy at that time.
They’d each discovered a ray of optimism.
The fire department said on its website, “An immediate bond was created.”
To restore his strength, the cat was given food and water.
Firefighters nicknamed him “Foster,” and Foster returned the favor by giving them another cause to smile.
Downing was his choice for a perch.
Foster’s gratitude was obvious, but his rescuers saw the opportunity to save a life in need as a prize in and of itself.
The fire service said, “Scenarios like this will frequently raise the morale of firemen who have, for days, experienced nothing but sorrow and ruin.”
And it was evident.
Foster was then placed in the North Valley Animal Disaster Group’s custody for treatment. And, perhaps, the cat will be reunited with his family soon after that.
“There have been promising leads,” a fire department spokeswoman told The Dodo on Thursday. “I’m hoping maybe today will be the day we find out some good news.”
While the entire amount of what was destroyed in the fire is yet unknown as firemen continue their rescue and recovery work, stories like this one provide both rescuers and those affected some much-needed encouragement that optimism still exists.