The unimaginable fear of losing a beloved pet became a reality for Laci Ping and her husband Curtis Mullins during the recent wildfire in northern California. As the Camp Fire rapidly approached their home, they scrambled to gather their cherished dogs and any precious belongings they could before evacuating.
As the fire engulfed the surroundings, the family was preparing to leave when suddenly, a propane tank in the neighborhood exploded due to the flames. Startled by the loud noise, Mayson, the newest addition to their family of cats, broke free from his carrier and bolted down the street. Though Ping tried to catch him, the family had to evacuate with the help of firefighters. Ping shared with The Dodo that her heart was pounding as Mayson sprinted away, and she couldn’t initially locate him. She feared the worst, but somehow Mayson managed to escape on his own. The thought of never seeing him again crossed her mind in that moment.
The couple was devastated and worried about their home and their beloved pet, Mayson, amidst the raging fire. In an effort to locate him, they posted his photo on social media. They tirelessly searched the internet for any news on Mayson’s whereabouts. After a few days, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine released a list of found cats, and ping was shocked to see a gray tabby with a distinctive white patch of hair around his mouth in one of the photos.
Ping expressed immediate recognition of her cat Mayson’s photo and was convinced that it was indeed him. She and her husband sought the help of their veterinarian and rushed to see if their son was still there. To their delight, Mayson was found safe and well inside a package brought in by a vet technician. Ping was filled with tears of joy upon seeing her beloved pet again after assuming that they would never be reunited. The cat also seemed equally delighted to see his mother as he burrowed his face into her neck and held on tight. Ping shared that Mayson’s warm embrace was a welcome relief, especially considering the horrors that could have been.
Mayson suffered burns on all four of his paws during the fire, but the good news is that he is expected to make a full recovery. He will remain under the care of veterinarians for a few more days to ensure that his wounds heal properly before reuniting with his family. However, the same cannot be said for his owners’ house, which was completely destroyed in the fire. It is uncertain when they will be able to return to their home as firefighters are still battling the blaze that has devastated over 11,000 homes across the state. Tragically, the fire has also claimed the lives of 77 individuals, and approximately 1,000 people are still missing or unaccounted for.
Despite the devastation, rescue efforts are tirelessly underway to save thousands of animals like Mayson, with the hope of reuniting them with their families. Ping, Mayson’s owner, hopes that the miraculous recovery of her beloved pet will serve as an inspiration to other families who are searching for their lost dogs, urging them to never give up hope.