[Vision2020] Caturday (February 13, 2021)

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sat Feb 13 05:29:59 PST 2021

For one lost cat, surviving a wildfire was the miracle, staying alive alone in the burned landscape for months was the struggle, and now reunion with its family is his last challenge.  Welcome to Caturday.

Courtesy of the Register-Guard (Portland, Oregon) at:


Found 5 months after wildfire, cat survivor searching for its family

For one lost cat, surviving a wildfire was the miracle, staying alive alone in the burned landscape for months was the struggle, and now reunion with its family is his last challenge.

A brownish-black fluffball with a white chest found on Gate Creek Road, this feline survivor is still waiting for family to find him.

When the Holiday Farm Fire sparked in the McKenzie River Valley during a Labor Day windstorm, it spread quickly and forced residents to flee with almost no warning. Many were able at least to save their pets if not their home, but others were far less fortunate.
Emergency Animal Rescue Services, a group reuniting families with pets lost or left behind after the fire, initially got 115 requests for help finding missing cats. That number grew over the months since.

Using a dozen feeding stations inside the burn zone with rotating trail cameras monitored by volunteers, the group has been able to reunite 80 cats with their families. 

People had to go in a hurry," said Toni Ray, the owner of Community Cat Advocacy Team in Springfield and the lead trapper for E.A.R.S. "Once the roads were open, we were just going to each property each day for the ones we could find and recover. We started feeding stations, trapping them and matching them with the tickets we had.

E.A.R.S. still is looking for 19 missing cats at the request of their families. Some missing cats have been confirmed dead. 

"It's a long-term project. You have to be willing to give it time and be committed," Rey said. "I'm personally invested. I'm not walking away until I feel I've completed my task." 

When E.A.R.S. captures a cat on camera matching an owner's description, it sets a trap in hopes of a reunion.

But that process, in one case, now is working in reverse.

The brownish-black long-haired cat trapped at a property on Gate Creek Road matched the description of a missing pet, but four families since have visited him only to discover he wasn't their animal, Rey said.

Neutered and declawed, the cat obviously is a pet, Rey said.

She's worried after so many months he may belong to an owner who's given up the search or never returned. 

“We presume they think he passed away inside their home that burned down, so they're not looking," Rey said. "To know this guy has been out there and survived five months without any claws to defend himself, that makes it so he's tugging at my heart strings."

The cat, whose name is unknown, currently is living at S.A.R.A.'s Treasures, a rescue in Eugene, Rey said. The shelter has housed other cats rescued from the wildfire zone.

They've been really good about giving us space to house those kitties," Rey said.

E.A.R.S. is asking Holiday Farm Fire survivors who haven't submitted a rescue ticket to contact them because new cats are still showing up on their trail cameras. She said those who've returned to their homes and noticed cats hanging around also should call.


Photos . . ,




“Caturday” by Linus Petit

Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
“A stranger is just a friend you haven't met.” - Roy E. Stolworthy
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