While battling the devastating flames that engulfed Paradise, California in November, fireman Ryan Coleman made an unexpected new friend when he saved a cat from the roaring blaze. The Paradise fire dubbed the worst in the history of California and the sixth most deadly in the United States, claimed the lives of 86 people and left another three individuals missing, as well as destroying nearly 14,000 houses. A light of hope for the fireman burst through the desolation in the shape of a worried grey cat, despite the devastation and death around him.
The fire started on November 8th and raged through Butte County, California for 17 days until firefighters were able to fully contain it, with the majority of the damage occurring in the first six hours. A huge fluffy cat came up to meet Coleman as he was exploring around in the recently burned wasteland, rummaging amid the debris and devastation. Thousands of pets, cattle, and animals were abandoned, lost, or worse as a result of the raging fires. As a result, when this gray fluff-ball tromped out to Coleman, it was a sight to behold.
The firefighter quickly took out his phone and snapped a lovely photo of the cat, who appeared to be delighted to welcome him. Coleman was most likely the first person this unfortunate cat had seen since the frightening fire started, and it’s incredible to see him untouched by the heat of the flames.
It wasn’t enough for the cat to brush on his leg or be near to him. The cat rushed right up to Ryan and then up to his leg, indicating that he trusted Ryan would keep him safe. Ryan was now his human, at least for the time being, and he was not going anywhere without him.
Coleman attempted clutching the cat to his chest while taking another brief photo with him, but the frantic feline wasn’t satisfied there either. The cat desired to be carried aloft by the firefighter’s muscular shoulders, where he could be near him while knowing he was safe, and Ryan gladly agreed! On November 18th, Ryan took a fast video and shared it, along with the photos, on his Facebook page with the caption.
It’s no surprise that this cat was adopting Ryan on the spot, given how the fires continued to build and roar! Along with photos of his new BFF, the brave firefighter shared photos of what it was like to be in the midst of what can only be described as a horrific disaster.
Coleman, an engine Captain, must’ve been exhausted from fighting the flames for many days, but he was grateful for the affection and comfort of the cat on his shoulders. She didn’t simply relax once she was perched there, though.
The enthusiastic feline can be seen trying all she can to thank her savior in the video below.
She continues pushing her head into his face and stroking back and forth over his stubbly beard as she rides on his shoulders, refusing to be discouraged from showering him with love.
It’s amazing to see our heroes like this fireman get the love and thanks they deserve, even and particularly from non-humans who would have perished if they hadn’t been there.