Months after going missing in the Camp Fire, a cat assumed dead has been rescued and is now ready to reunite with his family, who has since relocated to Missouri.
The cat’s owners say they never stopped thinking about their pet, they told KOVR in Stockton.
At times they thought there was just no way he was still alive, but other times they still held out hope. They said this a happy ending to what’s been a devastating time.
Paul and Sandra Ritchie’s home was destroyed in the Camp Fire, but 102 days later, Dexter the cat rose from the ashes alive, healthy and happy.
“I myself had horrible thoughts about him burning up in the fire,” Paul said.
The Ritchies spoke with KOVR over the phone from Missouri, where they moved after their home burned down in Paradise.
They said they only had about 5 minutes to escape their home when the fire descended on the town.
The couple said they found three of their cats, but couldn’t find Dexter in time before they had to evacuate.
But last week, the 2-year-old cat was found in the fire zone by rescuers from the Field Haven Feline Center. Fortunately, he was microchipped.
Paul describes his feeling as he got the call. “I said what? It was pretty emotional.”
Dexter will board a flight to Missouri to be reunited with his family Friday.
“It’s going to be unbelievable,” Sandra said. “I think I’m going to just stand there and cry and want to hug him.”
After surviving hell on earth, Dexter is living out a feline fairytale.
Hundreds of cats have already been rescued from the fire zone by the Field Haven Feline Center. About 200 cats are still waiting to be reunited with their families and officials say it’s possible there could be up to a thousand cats still out there who need to be rescued.