It’s been TWO years that Lindsy Metz and her family have been searching for their beloved cat Artemis. They had no idea if he was lost, taken in by another family or worse, dead. Because the Metz family was part the entire population to be lost to the devastating 2018 Camp Fire in California.
To date, it is the most destructive and deadliest fire in California history. They’ve been staying positive and working on piecing the charred parts of their lives together again. And they just received the most amazing gift!
Finally, after two years, Artemis is back home with his family!
Back on the fateful day, Lindsy recalls the frantic attempts to grab their belongings and escape with their lives.
We were able to grab some things, but in all the chaos the boys left their clothes and everything behind. We basically have our animals and the clothes we were wearing. I had to leave my new car behind with all of my sentimental belongings in the trunk. There wasn’t enough room to take it all, and I couldn’t get gas. I’m praying my car is okay still, but it’s not looking like a good outcome.
But Artemis is an indoor/outdoor cat and when the blaze barreled down upon the town, he was outdoors at the time. Understandably spooked, he did what most animals are going to do when scared. He ran.
I got one of the two, the black one goes outside and he just ran from me. He has survived being lost for 4 months, so he’s a fighter cat and he could be alive. But if he is, I know he’s not in good shape. My heart is just so sad I couldn’t grab him.
Our neighbors have security cameras connected to their phones and they watched our whole court go up in flames.
Once they were to safety, Lindsy began posting online for any sign of Artemis.
Family and friends shared any photos of rescued animals that could be their missing feline. But poor, sweet Artemis was like hundreds of other non-descript black cats. Don’t get me wrong! Every single black cat owner can tell their fur-kid apart. However, shelter workers and temporary emergency volunteers see just another singed and terrified black cat. So it’s not easy to sift through the cages of scared souls.
His name is Artemis, he’s a 6 year old neutered male, Domestic short hair, with little white hairs on his neck, one of his front paws is missing claws do to a previous injury. He also has a black stripe down the roof of his mouth, and a slight limp with his back left foot.
He’s a little shy with fast movements, but he is a lover. I’m not giving up hope, he’s a tough mountain cat. Lost from South Park and Zuckerman Ct. he was outside during the fire and ran from me when I tried to get him. Desperately needing him back, my heart is empty without him.
They never wanted to give up hope, but after a year of searching with no signs of him, they feared the worst. Lindsy’s social media posts regarding her lost house panther began to imply an understandingly sad acceptance. They couldn’t replace Artemis’s spot within their heart and home, so they focused on rebuilding. Family and friends were there for them and together they would rise again. But her hometown of Magalia and life was gone as they’d known it.
Life went on and the rubble of Paradise, California has not been forgotten. Netflix recently released a documentary covering the heartbreaking after math of the inferno, called Fire In Paradise.
Just shy of two years after the flames have been extinguished and the Metz’s broken hearts have begun to mend, a healing miracle has been discovered.
On September 28th, Lindsy was scrolling through Facebook when she came upon a questionable post. One of her own friends posted a photo of a black cat that had recently chosen her home apparently. But Lindsy recognized the cat…and reached out immediately to confirm any of the felines “Artemis” type appearances.
Low and behold, Artemis had been found!
The family could not believe it. The rough and tough black cat had fought his way through the flames of the fire to safety. And just as his human servants had done, he found a way to survive his new circumstances for two years! Except, it was only a few miles from where their home once stood.
He had chosen a home to meow at for food…not knowing that the home he had chosen was a friend of mine. Mind you, She had absolutely no clue this was my kitty! So she did what most people would do. She posted a picture on FB and I began asking all the same questions.
But then she sent a video and I heard something that I’ve been waiting to hear again for so long. I couldn’t believe my ears.
So I called my oldest son inside so he could listen too. His eyes got wide and he said “that sounds like Artemis mom.” I called my friend up and asked if I could come look at him. Sure enough, it was my boy; without question.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I completely lost it. I don’t know how this happened or what angels brought him back to me. But my heart is absolutely so full having him back. Here comes the tears again. I just can’t believe I have him back after almost 2 years.
We only wish everyone who’s lost a pet in these emergency situations or when disaster strikes. For now, these are the types of stories that help the rest hold out hope. And why rescuers do what they do. Because that hungry dog or cat on the street may be someone’s miracle waiting to happen.
All photos courtesy of Lindsy Metz