Mom and daughter drive into California wildfire to save a stranger’s cat

Kerry Boykin lives in the Serenity Hills Road neighbourhood of Vacaville, California. She was out-of-state when the area was evacuated because of the new California wildfires. Her cat, Stripper, was inside her home. Kerry placed a message on the Nextdoor app for her North Bay area neighbourhood saying that her cat was inside and she wanted help.

Paulson and Bernard her daughter with Stripper the cat she saved from the wildfire
Aug. 19, 2020. Paulson and Bernard her daughter with Stripper the cat she saved from the California wildfire. Photo: PAUL KITAGAKI JR.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

A Vacaville resident, Carrie Paulson and her daughter McKenna Bernard saw the message and realised that nobody would see it. They decided to take action themselves.

They called animal control who told them they needed a Sheriff’s Office escort because the area had been officially evacuated. They couldn’t get the escort so they decided to go in by themselves.

They left the safety of their apartment and drove deep into the evacuation zone. They passed through barricades and roads scattered with debris. They arrived at Kerry Boykin’s street which is on top of a hill. They worked their way through the road. There were many fire engines and firefighters working tirelessly around the clock. They were setting backfired to protect the homes.

She met one firefighter, Battalion Chief Patrick D’Arcy of the San Francisco Fire Department. He offered to help. Kerry gave him a cat carrier and some cat food and D’Arcy went up to the house. He didn’t return for a while so Kerry went after him. There was smoke everywhere. She found him with the cat in the carrier.

Apparently, he had stopped to save the house as there were many-fires all around it. Paulson said:

We called the lady and told her we got her cat, and she was so happy. It was totally worth it.

Paulson and Bernard returned to their Vacaville apartment where they, too, were forced to evacuate later in the day. They couldn’t find a hotel room and Boykin offered to help in return. She found a hotel and reserved a room for them and their two cats together with Stripper.

It was all meant to be. I’m just grateful everybody is okay and the cat is okay.

My thanks to the Sacremento Bee for a cool cat rescue story. Do you remember the California wildfires of 2018? I do and it hurts to see pictures of them and the burned animals. It’ll happen again unless humankind gets a grip of global warming.


Here is a map showing where they live:

Calfornia’s wildfires

Buzz Feed news tells me that the current California wildfires are already among the worst in history and the wildfire season is just starting. Is this another example of climate change and global warming? I’m told that more than 1 million acres, which is the size of Rhode Island, has already burnt.

By Saturday five people had been killeda and scores of home destroyed. The weather has been unusually dry and heart. Many residents are waking up to the smell of smoke and ash and it is happening far sooner than normal. There are 560 wildfires currently burning across California. Some of the blazes were started by 11,000 lightning strikes. More storms are forecast. There maybe new flareups. Two major groups of wildfires in Napa Valley and the Central Valley and Bay Area are already second and third largest in the state’s history respectively.

These fires are not completely contained. Gavin Newsom, the Gov of California said, “If you are in denial about climate change, come to California”.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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