Laci Ping and her husband Curtis Mullins began packing up their adored pets and all the belongings they could as soon as the Camp Fire neared their house last week in California. Just when the family was about to leave, the fire reached a propane tank nearby which exploded immediately with a loud noise. It scared the newly- adopted cat in the family, Mayson, so much, that he broke out from his carrier and ran down the street. Ping ran after him but the team of firefighters working in the area rushed them out of the neighbourhood.

“He took off running and my heart was just racing,” Ping said. “I couldn’t get to him. I had no idea how he squeezed himself out but he did. My mind went straight to the thought that I’d never see him again.”

The heartbroken couple now had more than just a home engulfed in the fire to worry about. However, without losing all her hope already, Ping posted his photo everywhere on social media.

Laci Ping

“I was searching relentlessly online, trying to see if anyone might have picked him up,” Ping said. “And then, after a couple of days, UC Davis [School of Veterinary Medicine] posted a lineup of found cats.”

Ping couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw in one of the photos, a grey tabby with a patch of white fur near his mouth.

“I recognized his photo immediately,” Ping said. “I thought, ‘That’s my baby, Mayson.’ I knew it.”

Laci Ping

Ping and her husband are staying safely at a friend’s house, along with their pets. They immediately contacted the vet’s office and set off to find their baby. As they waited outside a room at the clinic, a vet tech brought to them a box, and inside, safe and sound, was Mayson.

“Up until the moment we saw him, I kept beating myself up for having to leave,” Ping said. “I was in tears. I thought I would never see him again.”

Ping was delighted to have Mayson back, and Mayson felt exactly the same. He had probably seen so much. But as soon as he saw felt his mom holding him, he buried his face into her neck and everything was just fine.

Laci Ping

“He just gave me a big hug around my neck,” Ping said. “He was so happy. I missed him so much. It was terrifying to think of what could have happened.”

Mayson had unfortunately burned all four of his paws in the fire but is expected to recover completely soon. He is going to stay at the vet’s office for a few more days for the affirmation of his recovery. Then, he will surely be reunited with his mom and dad.

Laci Ping

The couple’s home, however, couldn’t survive the fire and they don’t know when they would be able to return to the neighbourhood, Fire crews have been battling the fire continuously but it has destroyed 11,000 houses completely. About 77 people have lost their lives and about 1,000 people are estimated to be lost or unaccounted for.

Firefighters are also recovering huge numbers of animals like Mayson. Ping encourages everyone to keep searching for their lost pets in such a devastating situation. The pets would definitely need them.

Laci Ping

“I want people to keep hope and not give up,” Ping said. “Keep searching and make sure you check every page out there that are posting about lost pets. It might take a lot longer to get your baby back than you think, but it is so worth it. They are waiting for you just as much as you are for them.”

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