A family who thought they had lost everything in the NSW bushfires, including their beloved pet cats, were in shock when one of the felines returned home a week later with singed fur and a few missing whiskers.
As Ben Symonds and his family fought flames surrounding their property in the Bega Valley, their pet cats, Angel and Mickey, fled the flames, disappearing into nearby bushland.
“We had to leave them when the fire descended whilst we were packing to evacuate,” Mr Symonds posted on Reddit.
The family spent the next seven days cleaning up what was left of their property in Bemboka, but there was no sign of either cat.
“Fire consumed most of our property,” Mr Symonds wrote on Reddit.
After spending days and nights searching for Angel and Mickey, trying to entice them home with food, Mr Symonds said the family had to accept that they would never see their family pets again.
“Every inch of our property is black, only the grass around the house survived,” he posted.
Seven nights after Angel was seen running into bushland, the family spotted her in a burned out gully near their home.
“It’s an amazing feeling after we accepted her loss,” Mr Symonds wrote.
The family were shocked that Angel, being an indoor cat, survived in the bush for so long, only suffering from a few missing whiskers and singed fur.
“Her ears are the only things that really got injured, her feet are not even burnt, she’s happy and super cuddly,” Mr Symonds wrote.
After taking Angel to the vet, Mr Symonds said she “is almost back to normal although a bit disoriented because her whiskers burnt.”
The family are still baffled how Angel survived a week in the destroyed bush but think she may have hidden in a wombat hole to avoid the flames.
Mr Symonds said Angel’s favourite human was his stepfather and she hasn’t left his lap since she returned home.
“She seems pretty stoked and loving the attention,” he said.
Angel’s miracle return has given the family hope that Mickey is still alive.
“Now I just hope the other cat comes back,” Mr Symonds wrote.
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