Abe the Miracle Cat of the Freeway Complex Fire

I am cross-posting this from Heather Pritchard’s diary over on Daily Kos. If you can, drop by over here and recommend the diary for posting on the main page.

 Abe: The Miracle Cat survived the Wildfires but his Parents Lost Everything

by Ellinorianne
Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 08:16:02 AM PST

The fires in California have touched many lives as hundreds of homes have been destroyed along with belongings, pets and an entire lifetime of memories.  I wanted to share one story of a local couple who lost almost everything in the Freeway Complex Fire and one of the last things they have is clinging to life, their beloved cat Abe.  Adam was not found and is believed to be gone.  But they have Abe and Abe is struggling to live.

I can’t say that I know James and Eric well, they are involved and engaged Young Dems and I’ve friended Eric on Facebook, this doesn’t make us buddies but as Young Dems fought for not only Obama but the local Dems, I feel that I must take up their cause.  It’s important.

Abe is in his oxygen tent, his lungs were badly damaged and he is not out of the woods yet.  Sadly, they may have to put him down.  


I am being so bold as to share this story without their express permission but I think it’s important that we come together to help these young men who have lost everything.  Not only was their right to marry taken away just a couple of short weeks ago but they’ve lost everything they had.  Both are active Young Democrats and I want to see that they are able to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Can you help them?  Please?  I feel so utterly helpless to do anything but donate a modest amount myself but I know that Kossacks and (LiberalOC readers) are capable of amazing generosity and when they see a great need such as this one, I know you will all step up to help Eric and James.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, the Freeway Complex Fire ripped through the Cascades Apartment complex in Anaheim Hills, CA on November 15, 2008 and destroyed ~50 units, including ours. Everything we own is basically destroyed; what isn’t is heavily damaged. We were able to salvage a few incidentals as well the Audi in the garage, albeit with some body damage.

One miracle of this all is that one of our cats, Abe, survived in the living room. From what I saw in there, I honestly do not know how. We’ve not yet found his brother Adam, and we’re very distraught about it. Abe was under a considerable amount of rubble, with burns, respiratory problems, severe dehydration, and some internal problems, but the vet thinks he’ll be OK after they keep him a few days. The cats were the only thing we cared about in the unit. I just hope Adam will turn up, but per the pictures I posted here on facebook, we not exactly optimistic for another miracle.

We happened to be out of town when the fire hit and ended up watching our home burn down on the Channel 4 news. It was surreal.

We don’t know what we’re going to do yet. Just still trying to process things, make sure Abe gets better, and try to salvage what we can. Our building and unit are unlivable. We’ll just pick up whatever pieces we have and start over. Insurance claims is the first step to begin in a long journey back to a normal life. It’s weird, that one hour can reset almost your entire life. But that’s what it did. Nearly everything that we had is gone, except Abe.

While it seems that Adam may be gone forever, it is a miracle that Abe survived the Armageddon that became our home on Saturday morning.

Abe is getting great care at the Yorba Regional Animal Hospital. He’s definitely banged up, but the vet says he’s in OK shape considering what he experienced. They have been taking X-rays to monitor the lung damage from smoke inhalation.

Abe’s survival in that hellish environment gives us tremendous inspiration and optimism about our own path moving forward. Though Adam may not have survived, nothing can take away the 8.5 years of joy that he brought to our lives and all of those who met this beautiful creature.

I want to thank my brother Chris for his insistence to firefighters that they comb through the home for any signs of life. They told him that there was no chance anything survived in the conflagration. Without my brother’s concern for our kitties, Abe’s miraculous survival would never have been known.

Pictures of our miracle kitty are posted in the photos page. The cord in the foreground is his IV tube. He is drooling a bit because of burns to his mouth, but that should improve with time. He is rather dazed and seems a bit high from the pain killers and traumatic events he’s endured, but we’re hopeful he’ll be better soon.

Thanks to everyone who’s kept our family in their thoughts, hopes, and prayers.


Gary, my husband, used to live in the Cascade Apartments with his first wife.  This is when Gary was going to school and his wife was working full time.  He mentioned how much he loved the apartments and we had heard about them burning down on TV.  But little did we know that we knew someone who was directly affected by this, even if this connection is tenuous, it matters to me.

James put this on his facebook page, I think it says it all about these guys, they just want their cat to pull through, everything else is just stuff.


For those of you wondering how to help Eric and I in this horrible time, please click on the link above. Everything we had can be replaced, but not our beautiful black cat Abe.


And this is where Abe was trapped for thirty hours…


Please donate if you can, anything, five dollars, something to help these lovely souls pay for the care of their cat and to get back on their feet.

h/t Mehitabel9

Well, I don’t do Paypal. (4+ / 0-)
Recommended by: Loquatrix, webranding, Debbie in ME, Ellinorianne
But I did just call the animal hospital where Abe is a patient and used my credit card to make a payment toward his bill.

They confirmed that Abe is a patient there, and that his prognosis is “fair”.

If anyone else wants to help but doesn’t want to use Paypal, the phone number for Yorba Regional Animal Hospital is 714-921-8700.  They’ll take your credit card info over the phone and will mail you a receipt if you ask them to.

There are many people and families in need of assistance because of the fires. The Orange COunty Register posted a story about how people can help. Check it out here and please do what you can.

  3 comments for “Abe the Miracle Cat of the Freeway Complex Fire

  1. Heather Pritchard
    November 20, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Thank you so much Chris for crossposting this.

  2. Misha Houser
    November 20, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    As of last night, Abe was not doing well. His breathing was more shallow and he may not make it. Thanks Heather for posting this.
    I’m working with ECCO and the OC Young Dems to host a benefit for Eric, James and Abe. I’ll keep you posted.

  3. November 20, 2008 at 1:42 pm


    Thanks for letting us know! I’d especially like to know about the benefit event. I’d like to pitch in whatever I can to help Eric & James.

Comments are closed.