A pet parent’s greatest dread has come true.
Laci Ping and her husband Curtis Mullins hurried to gather up their beloved dogs and any valuables they could as the Camp Fire approached their house in northern California last week.
The neighborhood was enveloped in flames, and just as they were about to flee, the flames devoured a neighboring propane tank, causing it to explode. Mayson, the family’s new cat, was so startled by the loud noise that he escaped from his carrier and ran down the street. Ping chased him down, but the family was hustled out of the area by a team of firemen.
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Ping told The Dodo, “He took off sprinting and my heart was absolutely pounding.” “I couldn’t find him.” I’m not sure how he got himself out, but he did. My mind immediately went to the idea that I’d never see him again.”
The couple’s hearts were crushed. They were now concerned about not only what would happen to their home in the midst of the flames, but also what would happen to Mayson. Ping began putting his photo all over social media in an attempt to locate him.
“I was constantly browsing the internet to see if somebody had picked him up,” Ping added. “After a few days, the UC Davis [School of Veterinary Medicine] provided a list of discovered cats.”
Ping couldn’t believe what she was seeing. A gray tabby with a patch of white hair around his lips appeared in one of the photographs.
“I immediately recognized his photo,” Ping remarked. “I said to myself, ‘That’s my baby Mayson,’ and I knew it.”
Ping and her husband, who are safe at a friend’s house with the rest of their dogs, immediately contacted the vet’s office and went over to see if their son could be found. A vet tech entered with a package as they excitedly awaited inside a clinic room.
Mayson was, indeed, inside, safe and sound.
“I was kicking myself for having to leave up until the time we met him,” Ping added. “I was in tears,” she said. “I assumed I’d never see him again.”
Ping was overjoyed to see her cat again, and Mayson was just as pleased. He’d gone through so much, yet when he saw his mother, he burrowed his face into her neck and clung to her.
“He simply wrapped his arms over my neck,” Ping explained. “He was overjoyed. I was sorely missing him. The thought of what could have occurred was horrifying.”
Mayson was burned on all four paws in the fire, but he is expected to recover fully. He’ll be at the veterinarian’s clinic for at least a few more days to ensure that everything is mending properly. He’ll be reunited with his family after that.
Unfortunately, the fire completely destroyed the couple’s house, and they are unsure when they will be able to return to the area. Firefighters are still battling the blaze, which has damaged roughly 11,000 houses across the state. A total of 77 individuals have died, with an additional 1,000 persons remaining missing or unaccounted for.
Thousands of animals, including Mayson, are being rescued from the flames in the hopes of reconnecting them with their family. Ping hopes that her miracle will inspire other families to keep looking for their missing dogs, just like they would for their parents.