Brandi Burns lost everything in the California wildfires of October 2017. Her house burned down and her cat Apu went missing. She and her friend Steph Gediman went right back to her neighborhood the next day, as soon as it was safe, to look for him.
Brandi Ann and Steph were shocked by the devastation. Brandi Ann's house was completely gone. But they were even more shocked to hear a mew of distress. It wasn't from Apu. It was from another cat in the neighborhood.
He had once been an orange kitty, but it was hard to tell with all the char on his coat. They felt they couldn't just leave him, so they picked him up and rushed him to the Animal Care Center in Rohnert Park.
The next day, when they returned to the neighborhood, they encountered the orange kitty's family, looking for him. The family was greatly relieved to hear he would be okay, but still, there was no sign of Apu.
As they searched, they encountered a group of people trying to rescue a scared black-and-white cat from a sewer pipe. Steph and Brandi crawled in, Brandi with a crate, and retrieved her. She, too, suffered from burns. Even her whiskers were singed off. They were able to find her owner on social media and she is now recovering.
The women were finally able to locate Apu and took him to the vet. Apu had burns to his paws so severe that the vet thought he would lose them. Brandi set up a crowdsourcing page to fund his vet bills, but sadly, Apu's injuries were too severe. He passed away 16 days after being found. Brandi donated the rest of the money to help other cats caught in the fires. RIP Apu.
Despite this sad ending, Brandi was grateful to have found Apu and had the chance to say goodbye. She and Steph were also glad to have been able to help two other families find their pets.
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