PATEROS — When Heidi Brown first saw the singed and soot-covered cat in the burned-out rubble of an Alta Lake housing development on Saturday, she thought it was doomed.
“Her face was burned and her fur was singed,” said the Cashmere woman who was bringing supplies to friends who had lost their house in the huge wildfire. “We could tell she was in pretty bad shape.”
After two tries on two trips to catch the cat, she and her boyfriend, Brad Sourbeer, found the cat hiding under a rock and wrangled it into a pet tote. Not finding its owner, Brown and Sourbeer took the cat to his Desert Canyon home.
“Even with her being in shock and pain, she was so loving and sweet,” Brown said. “We gave her a bath and, that poor thing, she just sat there. Then we wrapped her up in towels and held her and she would just sit in our laps and purr.”
On Sunday, Brown and Sourbeer located Chelan veterinarian Mark Shelton, who took her in at the Lake Chelan Veterinary Hospital.
“She had second-degree burns on maybe 10 percent of her body,” Shelton said. “She will probably lose her ear tips and her eye lids were pretty scorched, along with the pads of her feet and her ankles.”
Her eyesight might be damaged but, he said, it’s too soon to tell.
The 2- to 3-year-old cat also had abrasions on its shoulders and back.
‘I think she had to squeeze through something to get the heck out,” he said.
Shelton expects the cat to survive.
“I’m an optimist,” he said. “When I first saw her, I thought, ‘This kitty has a will to live.’ “
Through a post on the Alta Lake Golf Course Facebook page, the cat’s owner was located.
“She relinquished the kitty,” Shelton said. “She lost her house and can’t afford its care.”
Brown and Sourbeer have decided to adopt the cat, currently called Alta in honor of the place where it was found. They’re thinking, however, of renaming it.
“Maybe something like a Greek fire goddess,” Brown said. “She is a fire goddess.”
Brown called her new cat “an absolute survivor” and added, “She is a little glimmer of hope in all this devastation.”