After Town Was Ravaged By Wildfires, Police Rescue Cat, ‘Smokey,’ From Blaze

Like much of the west coast, Oregon state is being ravaged by wildfires, which have destroyed lives, towns, homes, land, and caused thousands of people and pets to flee. Fortunately, one calico cat, ‘Smokey,’ was rescued by police after becoming separated from its owners in the flames.

“This lucky little kitty was rescued from the Blue River area by an Oregon State Police Trooper who came across the cat in the aftermath of the Holiday Farm fire,” a wildfire information update on Facebook read. “The cat quickly became known as ‘Smokey’ and got a VIP ride in a Trooper car to the vet’s office. Thank you Oregon State Police for rescuing this cutie!”

But although Smokey escaped from the wildfire, the furry survivor didn’t evade this scary ordeal entirely unscathed. Photos show Smokey’s whiskers were singed by the flames, which – to a cat — are more than just a cute facial feature. Cats use their whiskers for balance, navigation, and to gather sensory input. Smokey’s whiskers will grow back, but this poor cat may have trouble getting around for the next couple of months.

Even so, Smokey is lucky, because first responders are so overwhelmed by this sprawling disaster that residents have had to organize their own emergency pet rescue squads to save pets from the blaze.

“Police chief is busy, 911 dispatch is busy, these aren’t people that have time to go take a cat out of a house. We do,” one of those citizen rescuers, Julie Ohashi, told KMTR. The Oregon woman created a community Facebook page where people can post if they need somebody to feed and care for dogs and cats, rescue pets from their homes, and help reunite owners with missing animals.

Wildfire update (this post is continuously being updated):Greenhill Humane Society is working with local authorities to…

Posted by Greenhill Humane Society on Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Many wildfire rescues are also being housed at the GreenHill Humane Society in Eugene, OR, which is also offering pet food and supplies and emergency boarding for those who find themselves in the evacuation zone. Please contact the shelter at 541-689-1503 (press 1) if you need to arrange for emergency boarding.

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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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