California is known, besides for its beauty, for its wildfires. The wildfires burn a lot of houses and unfortunately lives. This is a story of a young woman who heard the help-cries of a cat in a burned home and decided to help it.
Steph Gediman’s girlfriend’s house was burned in a wildfire in Santa Rosa. Her girlfriend and her family were able to escape from the fire but their 10-year-old cat was not found.
In the day when they were visiting the burned home “As we entered the neighborhood that I had once known so well, I had no idea where we were,” Gediman said. “Everything was full of destruction. Of smoke. Of ash. Of complete and utter rubble. I couldn’t make out any piece of familiarity. That was until my girlfriend’s father had pulled over to what was once their home. In a state of complete disbelief, I simply just looked around with wide eyes letting it all sink in.”.
While she was in the house, she heard a meowing full of pain. “As I stood there blank in the face, I hear a meow. A quiet meow. A meow that was not of comfort but of a cry for help.” Gediman described. She decided to find the source of the sound. The cat’s paws and ears were badly burned. “I could tell even when I first found him that was where the most major damage was. His ears looked like they had been boiled, and his face was covered with this hardened ash and burn wounds.” Gediman said.
Lucky for the cat, Gediman had worked in an animal hospital. “I worked at Pet Care Veterinarian Hospital in Santa Rosa for a few years. It was actually a job I kind of fell into by chance and had no knowledge going into it. That job taught me a lot though. I have seen death in the worst of situations and life at its most beautiful there.”. However, “I didn’t know what to do at that moment.” She said. She was scared of hurting it more and making things for it worse. The cat walked to the Gediman but since she was still not knowing what to do, the cat walked away.
“I had gotten the feeling he thought I wasn’t going to help him and that completely broke me,” Gediman says. “So without any more hesitation, I picked him up. Immediately debris from his own body went onto mine. I was completely covered by the catastrophe his body went through the previous night.”
“This cat had, I guess you could say, hardened ash all over its body,” Gediman stated. “Its face had this hardened black ash to the point where it felt like an awful scab that had yet to fully heal. This cat’s hair was fully signed, and his ears were burnt to the point where they looked like they had been boiled. His eyes were so damaged by the heat and smoke they were swollen, oozing and half closed.”
Gediman with her girlfriend took the cat to the Animal Care Center in Rohnert Park. The cat didn’t want to leave Gediman. “Despite every unimaginable experience this cat went through, he sat on my lap in the car ride and didn’t move the whole time,” she says. “He had his chin up against my arm and I could tell being snuggled into my body was making him most comfortable. So snuggled him I did. Held him tight I did. Pet him to the best of my ability in any areas I could I did. To the point where I started to hear some purrs from him. He was my new friend and I knew he knew the car and my girlfriend’s family and I were there to help him.” Gediman told.
The next day, Gediman and her girlfriend visited the burned area hoping to find cat’s owners. Her girlfriend saw a family taking pictures of the remanings of the house and asked if they had a cat. They said “Yes.”. She asked if it was an orange cat, and they answered “Yes.”. Then the couple Showed the pictures of the cat they’ve found to identify if it was the cat they’ve found. “She fell to her knees immediately, crying the hardest I had heard a human cry in some time. I actually don’t know if I have ever witnessed someone drop to their knees out of such relief in my life. And in the middle of this complete war-zone-looking road that was once a beautiful neighborhood, my girlfriend and I had knelt down with this stranger and held her tight.” Gediman told the scene. “I could feel while hugging that woman the level of relief she was releasing with her energy,” Gediman says. “The whole moment was not only beautiful but surreal. It was the first time I had felt so human in years or maybe ever. And even more so, it was one of the first times I had witnessed a miracle.”
**Update: REUNITED WITH FAMILY**Found this little one on San Marcos drive. Any of my friends in Santa Rosa please share. Would love to find the owner. Took this cutie to Animal Care Center in Rohnert Park.
Although the post of Gediman about the cat was shared over 14,000 times, no-one came up as owner. They could never reunite the cat and its owner again if they hadn’t come back.
Gediman and her girlfriend also found another cat in a drainage and could reunite the cat and its family through Facebook but the cat couldn’t make it and died. “…But it was through his search that we came across these other lives that needed immediate saving,” Gediman said. “And I’m so thankful the universe led us to those lives.”
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