As the Camp Fire raged through California, dozens of stories of animals rescued and their recoveries flooded the internet.
Two kittens stood out among the rest, Phoenix (orange), and Ash (black).
These brothers were found when rescuers were relocating horses from the charred farmland in Concow, California.
They were spotted with an older cat, assumed to be their mother.
Mom fled and the babies hid, ironically, in an open wood burning stove.
When rescuers approached the frightened kittens, something amazing and heartbreaking happened.
The orange kitten threw himself over his brother to shield him from the humans!
As a few individuals onsite mentioned leaving the cats there since they were unharmed, others thankfully refused.
Finally able to pull the kittens out of the stove, they noticed a shocking difference between the two survivors.
The fur on the ginger kitty Phoenix had been singed, and he’d lost all his whiskers in the inferno.
He also had burns on all 4 of his tiny paws.
But little Ash was completely physically unharmed!
Both were taken into the care of FieldHaven Feline Center, based in Lincoln, California.
Dehydrated, they were given IV fluids and Phoenix’s burns were treated.
Doctors mentioned that the ginger hero may not have made it much longer if left in the elements.
During their first night in safety, each time someone neared the duo, Phoenix would throw himself over Ash!
Seeing him do this repeatedly, it became clear that Ash had survived unscathed because of his protective brother.
Phoenix had sacrificed his safety for that of his beloved sibling.
Now, in the care of the rescue team, Phoenix could finally relax a bit and begin to heal himself.
As the kittens rested in safety, FieldHaven staff continued to search for an owner.
“Our first priority is to ALWAYS reunite families. In fact, we reunited all cats that were in our emergency shelter except for one cat and a litter of kittens.”
Rescue workers were sure food and water were left for their elusive mother.
Since they knew where the kittens were found, they were finally able to contact the homeowner.
They’d been out of town when the fires ignited and informed them the trio of felines were ferals.
The kittens would have no one coming for them; and they were surrendered to FieldHaven.
Despite their feral beginning, they’ve quickly learned to trust the humans caring for them.
Both have transformed into “loving purr balls”, as noted by one volunteer.
On November 23rd, Phoenix finally had the bandages removed from his healing paws.
And he promptly threw his loving arm back over his brother.
The brothers couldn’t be more bonded and it’s heartwarming to see them together.
Now, as of just this morning….the pair are officially up for adoption!
With all they’ve been through, FieldHaven is taking every precaution to find them a deserving home.
Since the tale of the tiny survivors has gone viral, FieldHaven are using a different approach with Phoenix and Ash.
With many potential adopters expressing interest, they have instituted the following guidelines.
Applications will be accepted from 8am Friday, December 7th until 5pm on Monday, December 10th.
The kittens will only be adopted together.
The forever family must live in Northern California.
Write a short essay on why you believe you are the best forever family for Phoenix and Ash.
Include the following information in your email: full name, address, phone number, email, number and ages of humans in the home, any additional pets with ages in the home.
Applicants should email the essay and other required information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are sure the volunteers and FieldHaven workers that have fallen in love with the brothers, will have their best interest at heart.
Their short lives as ferals have been one of unknown hardships.
They’ve overcome the life-threatening fires that decimated thousands of acres of California.
And yet the two remain by each others side.
We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these gorgeous kitties.
It’s sure to be one where they’ll be in a loving home. Filled with people that cherish them and keep them safe.
Thank you to FieldHaven, the rescuers, emergency responders and everyone involved in battling the deadly fires in California.
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP & SPAY AND NEUTER!