Cinematographer Douglas Thron has spent almost all of his life capturing the aftermath of infernos. However, what he captured this time after California’s campfire was nothing like anything he has ever seen before.
“I have never witnessed anything like it,” Thron said. “This is the most devastating fire I’ve ever seen.”
Yet, hope was still there.
Thron recently partnered with rescuer Shannon Jay to look into the ruins of Paradise to find any surviving pets. Jay was experienced in rescuing thousands of cats from disaster zones over the years. This time though, he also taught Thorn what a labour of love is all about.
“The cats are very skittish,” he said. “They’ve been through hell.”
While filming last week, Thorn caught something magical. Jay heard faint noises of a cat’s cries coming from under a burned-out truck. The cat was terrified, and flames burned her fur and paws. She had found shelter under the truck and desperately needed help.
Jay tried for an hour to get the cat into a carrier and finally succeeded. The moment was emotional as well as happy. And the rescuers was so moved, that he couldn’t help but shed some tears.
Now, the cat is safe, all thanks to Jay.
“She’s at a vet centre, getting taken care of,” Thron said. “Her paws were burned, but she should be doing quite well.”
Because this cat was only one of the many still looking for a ray of hope to survive, Jay doesn’t stop to celebrate much. He goes on to look further.
Thorn admits finding Jay’s passion for helping these animals as the bright side of the tunnel.
“It’s beautiful to see. Compassion like his is uncommon nowadays,” Thron said. “It’s wonderful to be with him.”
The cat Jay saved wouldn’t disagree.
“She’s healing and of the sweetest disposition — even purred for me,” Jay wrote after a visit with the recovering kitty. “A giant potato sack full of thanks and gratitude to all the love and care shown to this little miracle. And a huge thank you to all the outpouring and support for me in this unprecedented rescue effort.”
Watch the video of the moment below:
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