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Butte County Fire Cat Rescue

$36,459 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 637 people in 3 months
Friends and supporters , once again I'll be entering the burn zone to effect fire cat rescues. I spent well over 800 hours rescuing fire cats in the Tubbs Fire of Sonoma County and the Carr Fire of Shasta County.
This time I'll be self deploying to the Camp Fire in Butte County. There are thousands of missing, displaced and burned animals(most of them cats). I am requesting some help to purchase  equipment(trail cams, batteries ), food for my bait stations, veterinary donations, supplies  and fuel for the trips back and forth. Anything helps. This is a long haul effort and I'll be traveling to Butte County as often as twice a week(about 400 miles round trip)to rescue fire cats and to train volunteers and families on how to find their missing fire pets.
This is about the animals and their families. Bringing a lost pet back to these folks who've lost everything brings them back from the darkness and gives them hope. I witnessed this over and again when I reunited many fire cats with their families. I do not do this for a living bit out of love and compassion. Please check my fb page for regular reports and updates..


Shannon Jay
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I reluctantly departed Paradise on Sunday aft, I will be unable to venture back this week to continue my rescue work. It will be the first time that I’ve not returned for a weekly trip since I arrived in the burn zone on 12 November, five days post fire. Reckon I have spent around 350 hours inside. Have had a heavy heart since leaving and a profound sense of guilt that somehow I’m letting the fire monkeys down when they need me the most. My head says this is a rather silly notion and that I should not feel this way....my heart says otherwise. When you do this kind of work over a protracted period of time a powerful sense of accountability and personal responsibility for these helpless beings grows within you. They are in this place due to no fault of their own and in their darkest hour. Not sure I can explain it any better than this but it’s been eating at me since I arrived home last night…merely me.
I remain deeply humbled at your generosity and support in this ongoing effort....thank you so very much
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I reluctantly departed Paradise on Sunday aft, I will be unable to venture back this week to continue my rescue work. It will be the first time that I’ve not returned for a weekly trip since I arrived in the burn zone on 12 November, five days post fire. Reckon I have spent around 350 hours inside. Have had a heavy heart since leaving and a profound sense of guilt that somehow I’m letting the fire monkeys down when they need me the most. My head says this is a rather silly notion and that I should not feel this way....my heart says otherwise. When you do this kind of work over a protracted period of time a powerful sense of accountability and personal responsibility for these helpless beings grows within you. They are in this place due to no fault of their own and in their darkest hour. Not sure I can explain it any better than this but it’s been eating at me since I arrived home last night…merely me.
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Back from the ridge last night after three days. Weather was cold, wet and rainy most of the trip with a tiny bit of snow on last evening there. Arrived on Friday and immediately set out to rescue a petite Siamese kitty that was being fed and sheltered on a resident’s porch. Arrived on site late in the day to meet with Paradise resident, Janet, who was feeding and taking care of a small light colored Siamese kitty that was tame but skittish. As I parked and walked up to Janet’s porch, I saw the little girl come out of a shelter and run off a ways, stop, sit down and gaze at me. Had asked Janet to withhold food for the day to make the fire monkey more motivated to enter a trap as Janet told me that another person had attempted to trap kitty and that she escaped, becoming highly suspicious of traps. Was prepared for this and brought a larger sized trap as it can work magic when the smaller size will not.

Kitty walked away and I set the trap with a texting camera and left. Had a high degree of suspicion the little pooper would return in short order and was correct as I received a pic of her entering the trap when I was a couple of hundred yards down the road. Stopped the truck and waited for what was certainly going to be a quick and easy rescue. Was feeling rather smug at this and waited for the inevitable pic of kitty secured in trap. No pics came through and as I sat and ruminated on just why that was, Janet called and said the little monkey was inside the trap, door still open and having quite the feast. Reckoned kitty was either on the light side or had managed to side step the trigger plate and evade capture. Janet shooed the kitty away from the trap and I was back in two minutes, filled the food back up, adjusted the trigger plate sensitivity and stepped away into the darkness. Decided to hide in the front yard yard and watch with my thermal imaging scope. It was raining a bit and I sat quietly and waited for her to return. She did so within ten minutes or so and the thermal imager recorded the entire sequence of her rescue. Little fire cat was taken to the Field Haven transfer station, scanned for a chip, photos taken and then she was placed into a comfy cage to relax, her three-month odyssey in a horrid place now over. She has been listed on found kitty pages and being fostered in the Alley Cat Allies feline recovery center. I had placed a trap at another location and had a fire cat circle the trap several times without entering.

Saturday arrived and with it a forecast for nasty weather moving in that evening. It would not disappoint. Placed feeding stations, cameras and a handful of traps out and the wait began. First location was at a very large mobile home park with 95% of residences burned to the ground. The address was the very one I had a white fire cat circling my trap the night before. Was after a specific cat there and had high hopes for success. It began to rain in earnest around 3:30 pm and just after 4 pm a fire monkey entered the trap and was secured. Arrived within minutes and placed him into the truck and boogied down to the transfer station to get him processed and warm. Joy ran the chip scanner and bang, he had a chip!! Made a call to the number listed on the chip data and reached the family. Will let the attached video tell that part of the story. This fire cat turned out to be “Fritz”, who I posted on earlier. Reunion was awesome as they drove straight up from Chico to get their boy back. Fritz as missing from a nearby residence outside the mobile park and had survived on his own for 90 days! Took the trap back to the same address and reset it. At around 5:45, I got a pic of another fire monkey in the trap. Scrambled and drove over to the address and saw a beautiful long haired orange kitty that was clearly tame as she talked in the trap and was not too wound up…sure signs of a cat that knows human interaction. Got her down to the transfer station and settled in a cage. Joy got pics and sent them out and within not so much time, Audra, who runs the Alley Cat Allies/Field Haven feline recovery center let Joy know we had a highly probable match. Audra had compared pics and my kitty had a one of a kind four-freckle pattern on her nose, as did the lost fire cat post she pulled up. The side by side analysis left no doubt that we were looking at ‘Bella”, a fire monkey missing from the very same road that Fritz was from! After some Facebook searching Bella’s family was reached and another fire monkey reunited before the end of the night. Two kitties rescued less than two hours apart and reunited same night. Bella’s family arrived and it was with great joy that I turned her over to them. A great team effort to find her family and reach them.

The night was young and as I had only this last night on the mountain, I wanted to make the best of it and planned to stay out for the long haul. Around 9:30 I had yet another fire cat in my trap at same address that the other two had come from. I arrived and saw a large orange/white tabby in the trap. He did not appear rattled in the least and I hoped he belonged with a family. At the transfer station we monitored him and his behavior and all agreed that this steely eyed, calm, robust boy was feral and quite wild. While Joy and Becky worked on him, I went back out into the night to check some traps I had set earlier in the evening. As I pulled up to a burned out house I walked up on a kitty in my trap and he immediately began to talk and I knew he had a family. He was wet from the rain and I got him into the warm truck and back down to the transfer station in short order. Was astounded when he had a microchip, the second one of the night. This is equivalent to winning the lottery twice in the same day. We tried hard to find numbers for contact but kept coming up empty. The handsome 9-year-old fire kitty is called “Zozo”. In the meantime Joy and I decided to return the healthy feral boy back to his safe location and release him. She did manage to get a microchip on board but said it was a rather sporty effort to do so.

Spent the remainder of the night and early morning hours waiting on traps and scanning areas with the thermal scope for more fire monkeys. The temps dropped below freezing but the snow only came down in little flakes as I meandered through the burn zone all the way to Magalia and beyond into the wee morning hours. Made it back to my base camp and into bed at 0600 hours. Awoke at 10 am to a message from Joy that set me back. Zozo’s owner had died some time prior to the fires and his stepdaughter was in charge of this man’s estate apparently and was surrendering Zozo. My heart broke for this boy who had survived 90 days on his own and now had no home or family to go to. Not ashamed to say I wept for him. His photo and video are attached and along with that, my sincerest message for some loving family to step up and give Zozo a new forever home to call his own. He is a lovable and handsome boy of the sweetest disposition.
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A MOST TINY OF MIRACLES: Saturday was off and on again rain through the day and I planned on going home that night but had a couple of addresses I was trying to get kitties at and was worried about the pending cold temps and forecasted snow for the region. I caught another “community” cat near 9 pm that is part of a group of five the caretaker of them wanted rescued as Coyotes were beginning to show and she feared for their lives. His possible owners are not yet sure they can take them back so this handsome Tuxedo boy is being fostered in the area. My last trap was still active and at the very address I have rescued Mama Cat, her sons Bub and Earl and Keke at and I was going to pull it as it was pouring rain outside and getting nastier. Was also losing steam, exhausted and facing a long drive home in the middle of he night. Decided to wait it out a bit and see what happened. At 9:59 pm a black kitty arrived at the trap and entered it two minutes later. I drove out there quickly and when I took a peek I was floored to see a very tiny little black fire monkey in my trap…as in tiny like little Whisper, who I rescued the week before. We got her back to base camp and into a warm carrier and that was it. So stoked I waited it out and got this wee one out of that toxic wasteland and terrible weather.

Due to her malnourished state and size I took her home to foster and get her to the vet to be checked out. I have named her “Rumor” and she is exactly the same diminutive size as Whisper, weighing in at the vet this morning at 4.1 lbs. The vet believes she is approximately 8 months old. Little Rumor is doing very well, skinny but otherwise ok and being nursed back to health with Heather and I. She is especially courageous and brave having survived some 83 days in the burn zone in her condition. She has he heart of a lion and I am speechless with awe at her giant will to live, despite her starved and tiny state. Have her listed on the Found fire cats pages and waiting to see if she has a family. I had never once seen her at the long standing feeding station I have maintained. Am compelled to tell these stories of survival as they uplift those still searching for their fire monkeys and let the world know what is going on up there. My apologies for this rather long-winded report…. merely me.
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