A cat left behind by a Northern California family as it hurried to escape an approaching wildfire did not burn to death, as feared, having somehow survived the inferno with only singed whispers and eyebrows.
Debi and Jeff Brusatori returned to their property in Hayfork, in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, after an evacuation that lasted five days as the Fork Complex fire swept through the region.
The home and surrounding wilderness had burned nearly to ashes, but beneath a charred vehicle, Ruthie Rosemary, a 4-year-old Calico Tabby, could be heard mewing.
"She was found under the truck, though where she hid during the fire is anyone's guess," reads a statement on the U.S. Forest Service Facebook page. "The fire was so intense that aluminum parts of the vehicles melted. Other than singed whiskers and eyebrows, little Ruthie Rosemary is unharmed."
The Brusatoris had grabbed the cat as they were fleeing, but she jumped from the car and bolted, and there was no time to launch a search.
Reads one of many supportive comments beneath the Facebook post: “Awww one of the most heart warming pictures ever! Poor baby has literally been thru hell as evidenced in her singed whiskers. I’m thinking she used up a couple of her 9 lives this time.”
The Fork Complex fire burned more than 24,000 acres.
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