Watch CBS News

Cat Lost In Camp Fire Found 102 Days Later, Will Reunite With Family In Missouri

BUTTE COUNTY (CBS13) — A miraculous discovery in the burn zone. Months after going missing in the Camp Fire, a cat has been rescued and is now ready to reunite with his family, who has since relocated to Missouri.

The cat's owners say they never stopped thinking about their pet. At times they thought there was just no way he was still alive, but other times they still held out hope. They say this a very happy ending to what's been a very devastating time.

His home was destroyed in the Camp Fire, but 102 days later, Dexter the cat rose from the ashes alive, healthy and happy.

"I myself had horrible thoughts about him burning up in the fire," said Paul Ritchie, Dexter's owner.

READ ALSO: Cat Thought Lost In Camp Fire Found Mile Away From Where Its Home Once Stood

Paul and Sandra Ritchie spoke with CBS13 over the phone from Missouri, where they moved after their home burned down in Paradise.

"We had like five minutes to get out of the house," they said.

The couple says they found three of their cats, but couldn't find Dexter in time before they had to evacuate. But last week the two-year-old cat was found in the fire zone by rescuers from the Field Haven Feline Center. Fortunately, he was microchipped.

Paul describes his feeling as he got the call.

"I said what? It was pretty emotional."

READBobcat Burned In Camp Fire Nursed Back To Health, Released Back Into Wild

Dexter will board a flight to Missouri to be reunited with his family Friday.

Sandra said, "It's going to be unbelievable. I think I'm going to just stand there and cry and want to hug him."

Already living through hell on earth, Dexter the cat is now living out a feline fairytale.

Hundreds of cats have already been rescued from the fire zone by the Field Haven Feline Center. About 200 cats are still waiting to be reunited with their families and officials say it's possible there could be up to a thousand cats still out there who need to be rescued.

Swipe to see iconic images from the devastating Camp Fire.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.