Cat and Chicken Become Unlikely Friends in California Wildfires
There are some animals that naturally do not get along, especially if one is a predator of another. In most circumstances, cat owners would be wary of keeping chickens as it is well-known that a cat is likely to see the chicken as their prey. To avoid getting blood on their hands, most people would avoid this combination of animals on the same property. However, drastic circumstances can lead to unlikely allegiances and this is exactly what happened when a cat and a chicken were both victims of a California wildfire.
A chicken and a scalded cat struck up an unlikely friendship to help each other through the ordeal. The pair nestled together as a way of shielding each other from the blaze as flames tore through the farmhouse at which they both lived in Redding, California. The Grass Valley Fire Department discovered the duo in this unusual position when they attended the fire.
Both the cat and the chicken suffered burns in the fire but were rescued from further harm by firefighters who attended the scene. As the two animals had clearly become friends, it seemed a perfectly reasonable option to carry them away together in the same crate.
A representative of the fire department described how the firefighters had found the animals huddled together to offer each other support and safety. He went on to explain that both animals are now in the care of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals and that both the cat and the chicken were expected to make a full recovery from their injuries after their terrifying ordeal.
The cat and chicken were not the only ones to suffer after the wildfires, which were the sixth most destructive in history. During the initial fires, over 1,000 homes were torched, and six people lost their lives. Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate their homes for fear of their safety.
The fires began in the area surrounding the city of Redding, California. Within days of the first fires, the second wave of blazes hit the area. Governor Jerry Brown has said that they are putting in whatever resources are needed to fight the fires and help those that have been affected by the disaster. The governor described the situation as unchartered territory that was teaching the fire service something new.
Mike Mohler, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also explained that the wildfires had been very expensive for the county. Already, the department has spent $125 million in its efforts to eradicate the flames. This is the equivalent to a quarter of the annual budget for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
According to Cal Fire, 488 buildings in addition to the houses had been destroyed by the fire, including warehouses and barns. The Redding blazes, which began on July 23, 2018, have scorched an area of 189 square miles.
Since then, blazes have broken out just North of San Francisco in Covelo, which is an old farming and ranching area. This resulted in the evacuation of 60 homes for the safety of the residents. The fires were accelerated by winds as they burned through fir, oak, pine, grass, and bush in the area close to the Mendocino National Park.
At the same time, wild fires were blazing through the grassy cattle lands close to Yuba City and the flames swept through an area of over one and a half square miles in the space of just a few hours. The speed at which these fires are spreading is shocking local fire departments who are struggling to keep the aggressive blazes under control.
The fires have been blamed on the change in weather as there were heavy rains in the area earlier in the year followed by a heat wave in the summer. Experts say that the rains encouraged the growth of more products to catch fire during the hotter months.
As these fires continue to rage, it is likely that more tragic stories will unfold. However, there are also the heart-warming stories of how people and animals alike can stick together in times of great need, just like the case of the cat and the chicken that formed an unlikely bond.