Cat survives Fort McMurray blaze, hides in stove
Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 10:03 AM - As a violent wildfire ravages through Fort McMurray, Alta., many families have faced the tough decision to leave their pets behind in the desperate scramble to flee their homes.
As it turns out, being left behind didn't end too badly for one Fort McMurray pet.
When firefighters were sorting through the rubble of destroyed homes they stumbled across Tux -- a black cat who rode out the fire by seeking shelter in a stove.
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Tux's owner Jody Lishchynsky told Global News that firefighters speculate the cat crept into the stove after an explosion within the house blew out the stove glass.
The day the fire shot through Lishchynsky's subdivision the city was in utter chaos, she recalls.
“We gathered for about 15 minutes. We had a nice pile of photos in the kitchen, ready to go,” she says. But then, “the wind shifted, and it jumped the highway. It came down over our hill in minutes. We had to run. We weren’t expecting it at all,” Lishchynsky told Global News.
Lishchynsky, her son, her roommate, and her brother hurried into their truck with whatever they were holding. The family dog followed suit, but the four cats were not seen.
“I didn’t take the chance of going back in the house for anything,” she tells Global News. “It was coming too fast.”
Lishchynsky caught wind of her cat's survival while on social media. According to Global News, she saw photos of a firefighter holding a black cat with bandaged paws, which she recognized as Tux.
“He looked so dirty in the picture, and had no whiskers," Lishchynsky said. She soon discovered that another one of her cats, Sky, had also been found with not much of her fur left. The other two were not found.
The family was recently reunited at Lac La Biche Humane Society, where Lishchynsky found out the firefighters had nicknamed her cats Toast and Singe.
Lishchynsky's home and many of her photos and valuables were lost in the fire.
Related Video: Family reunites with horse lost in Fort McMurray fire
Thumbnail image courtesy of Kelly Hyde.