Ryan Coleman got an unexpected new bestie while confronting the raging fires that overtook Paradise, California this last November after the firefighter rescued a cat from the blazing inferno.
Clocking in as the deadliest fire to ever occur in the sunny state’s history, and the 6th most fatal in the entire U.S., the Paradise fire killed 86 victims plus another 3 people unaccounted for and burned down over 14,000 homes.
With all of the destruction and death surrounding him, a beam of hope broke through the wasteland for the firefighter in the form of a distressed gray cat.
The fire started on November 8th and ripped through Butte County, CA for a total of 17 days before firefighters were able to get it 100% contained, and most of the damage took place within just the first six hours.
When Coleman was looking through the debris and wreckage in the newly burned wasteland, a big fluffy cat wasted no time in coming up to greet him.
With so many houses lost to the raging fires, thousands of pets, livestock, and wildlife were abandoned, lost, or worse. So, when this gray fluff-ball came crawling out to Coleman, the sight was definitely a welcome one.
The firefighter was quick to pull out his phone and take an adorable picture of the cat who seemed ecstatic to greet him.
Coleman was likely the first person this poor cat had seen since the terrifying fire began, and it’s amazing to see him unsinged by the heat of the blaze like so many other poor critters.
It was not enough for the cat to be close to him or rub up against his leg. It seems the cat knew that Ryan would keep him safe because he ran right up to him and then right up his leg.
Ryan was his human now, at least for the immediate future, and he wasn’t letting him go anywhere without him.
Coleman attempted to hug the cat to his chest as he snapped another quick selfie with him, but the frenzied furbaby wasn’t happy there either.
Ryan took a quick video and posted it, accompanied by the pictures, to his Facebook page on November 18th with a caption that read:
“Kitty rescue. She just chilled on my neck and shoulders as I’d walk around.”
With the way the fires continued to grow and burn, it’s no wonder this cat was adopting Ryan right away.
Along with pictures of his new BFF, the brave firefighter also shared pictures of what it was like, being in the midst of what could only be described as a hellish catastrophe.
Exhausted as Coleman, who is an engine Captain, must have been after fighting the wildfires for several days, he was more than happy to have the love and playfulness of the cat on his shoulders. She didn’t just settle down once perched there, either.
In a wildfire deemed to be the most destructive in our country’s history, as well as one of the deadliest, it’s amazing to see our heroes like this firefighter get the respect and gratitude they deserve, even and especially from non-humans who would have been in bad shape without them.