In the midst of the devastating wildfires that ravaged Paradise, California, in November, Ryan Coleman was able to save a cat from the flames. More than 14,000 homes were destroyed and 86 people were killed in the Paradise fire, which was the deadliest in California’s history and the sixth most deadly in the United States at the time. The firefighter saw a glimmer of light in the midst of the carnage when he came upon a distressed grey cat in the middle of the desolation.
Firefighters battled the blaze for 17 days before it was fully contained, and the majority of the damage was done in the first six hours after it broke out on November 8th. When Coleman was exploring in the newly burned wasteland, a big fluffy cat came up to greet him and greeted him with its fluffy paws. Numerous animals, livestock, and wildlife were euthanized as a result of the devastation caused by the wildfires. It was a wonderful sight when this gray fluff-ball came tromping out to meet Coleman.
In a flash, the firefighter pulled out his phone and snapped an adorable image of the cat, which appeared ready to welcome him in return. Coleman was most likely the first person this cat had seen since the terrifying fire began, and it’s astonishing to see him unmarked by the heat of the flames, like so many other unfortunate pets in the aftermath of the disaster.
In order for him to feel loved, the cat needed more than just to rub up against his leg. In order to ensure his safety, the cat ran right up to Ryan and then climbed up his leg. For the time being, Ryan was his human, and he wasn’t going anywhere without him.
Coleman tried to cradle the agitated feline in his chest while taking another brief selfie with him, but the kitty was unsatisfied.The cat wanted to be perched atop firefighter Ryan’s broad shoulders, where he could feel safe and secure, knowing that he was protected. On November 18th, Ryan uploaded a video and photos to his FB page with the caption:
“Kitty rescue. She just chilled on my neck and shoulders as I’d walk around!”
It’s understandable that this cat decided to adopt Ryan on the spot while the fires raged on. The brave firefighter shared photos of himself in the midst of what can only be described as a horrible calamity, as well as pictures of his new BFF.
When Coleman, an engine captain, had been fighting wildfires for several days, the affection and companionship of the cat on his shoulders was more than he could have asked for. She didn’t just sit there and relax once she got comfortable.
See how the grateful cat shows her gratitude in the video below. As she rides on his shoulders, she continues to shower him with affection by pressing her head against his stubbly face and caressing back and forth over his beard.
In the midst of the most damaging wildfire in our country’s history, as well as one of the deadliest, it’s heartwarming to watch our heroes like this firefighter receive the love and thanks they deserve, even and especially from non-humans who would have perished otherwise. If you or someone you know has lost track of a pet as a result of the Paradise Camp Fire, you can check here to see if they are being held at the shelter while employees and volunteers search for their owners.