Source: Castanet (Extract)
Posted: August 26, 2023

A West Kelowna family is full of gratitude for a police officer who helped reunite them with their cat stuck behind evacuation lines.

Katie Reynders says when they were forced to evacuate their Rose Valley home due to the McDougall Creek fire, they were unable to find their cats, which were outside at the time.

“We tried for probably half an hour before we left, to get them in, and just weren’t able to unfortunately we had to go because [the fire] was very close,” she said.

Her children, aged nine and 11, were terrified.

“So they were extremely worried the whole time that the cats weren’t gonna come home and they were gonna get caught in the fire,” she said.

On Wednesday while the family was staying at a hotel on the other side of the lake, Reynders said she received a call from a police officer.

The Mountie, identified by the force in a tweet as Constable Ennis, had found one of the cats, Sassy, and called the number on the collar.

“While waiting for the owner, the new friends completed their patrols together,” said the Kelowna RCMP on social media.

Reynders says Const. Ennis met them at the evacuation checkpoint.

“He waited for us and brought us up to our house and let us—we were kind of in the safe zone—but they didn’t know exactly when we were going to get the evacuation lifted. So we set her up in the garage with all her stuff.”

The family’s other cat was waiting outside the home when they arrived.

“I’ve never seen my kids so excited,” Reynders said, adding the family is now back in their home.

Reynders says she is amazed by the job all the first responders are doing on the fire.

“Just a huge thank you to everybody. It’s been amazing to watch all the communities come together and everybody kind of support one another.”

While ensuring the security of one of our evacuated neighborhoods, RCMP Cst. Ennis found Sassy. While waiting for the owner, the new friends completed their patrols together.