All over the world, we’ve all dealt with an increase in fires. And not just forest fires, but all kinds of wildfires, even in the deserts like Australia. Fires can greatly affect wildlife, from animals to plants and then onto homes, businesses, and pets. So many people have been affected by fire, and this time it reached a man whose entire life is dedicated to fostering homeless cats.
The McKinney Fire Causes the “Cat Man” to Evacuate
You almost thought we were talking about our very own Cat Man Chris, didn’t you? Nope! This “Cat Man” lives in Yreka in northern California.
“I had to evacuate due to the McKinney fire in Northern California,” he wrote. “Currently staying in a tent, but I brought my essentials with me!”
Lance Graff is known as the “Cat Man” in the area and had no choice but to evacuate when the McKinney fire inched closer to his home. But what about all the cats he fosters? Well, he took them all with him. For two days, he spent the night in a tent on his grandparent’s property.
But why aren’t they inside the home out of this dreaded heatwave? At the time, no one was there to allow them inside. So, two adult cats and nine foster kittens got to go on a camping trip for two nights. The two adult cats, named Lucky and Dutchess, are his own personal cats, and he is fostering the nine kittens.
Fortunately, the experience didn’t even phase them. Lucky and Dutchess acted as they normally did, and the one-month-old kittens went exploring. Lance even said that the kittens learned how to get out of the box he puts them in at night and were having a ball.
“They got out of their box and started crawling all over me. I’d wake up with them in my face, nibbling on me or playing with one another. It was just a whole night of just, ‘Where are the kittens, what are they doing?'” Graff said.
But then, things started to get a little toasty. With California reaching 100-degree days and a massive fire happening, it’s too hot for anyone to be outside. Lance decided to put the kittens in a box in the shade with a wet towel and a fan attached to an extension cord to keep them nice and cool. A night-time rainstorm also helped with the cooling process, and the kittens slept soundly right through the storm.
“That cool breeze was really nice. The kittens just sort of slept through it all, especially with the rain. They were champs. I was worried that they would panic, but they didn’t.”
He also got a visit from the local stray cats. They knew who to turn to for help! In a video post, the rescuer decided he wanted to help those kitties, too, as they were trying to play with the kittens through the tent mesh.
The Cat Man’s Post Goes Viral
But Lance had some fun posting photos of the cats on Facebook. And before he knew it, someone at a local shelter saw the post and helped him get the kittens into a temporary shelter. This way they didn’t have to be in the heat, no matter the temperature. In appreciation, he asked for donations to local shelters or nonprofit organizations in the McKinney Fire area or help adopting these adorable kittens. This brave hero doesn’t want anything for himself. Well, maybe he would love some cat food donations and a few other kitty essentials for Dutchess and Lucky?
If you’d like to adopt any of these kittens, Lance says feel free to reach out to Saving Shasta Cats for more information.
Also, on Facebook, he says:
“My babies (The McKinney Fire Kittens) are available for adoption through SNIP of Siskiyou County SNIP! They’re so big now!! “
Lance also shared a GoFundMe to help raise funds for these cuties below to recover from upper respiratory infections, which he says are “probably due to the smoke from the recent wildfire.”
As a note, please be patient with any local northern California rescue or animal organizations as they deal with a large influx of rescues due to the fire.
You’re every cat and cat lover’s hero Lance and thank you for your sacrifice!
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!
Photos by Lance Graff/Facebook.