How a cat became a long-serving, supportive member of the Metchosin Fire Department
METCHOSIN -- Stephanie went to investigate when she heard more than raindrops on the roof above her office.
“I found this little kitten up there, drenched,” she recalls. “I brought her down, got her fed, and warmed (her) up.”
When the storm stopped, she let the kitten out.
“But she never left,” Stephanie smiles. “She’s been here ever since.”
Stephanie — who’s the Chief of the Metchosin Fire Department — canvassed the community to find the kitten’s owner. But the cat — whose name is Cat — has chosen to live in and around the fire hall for more than eight years.
“I think she’s been here longer than 50 per cent of our crew,” Stephanie says.
But simple seniority is not what’s earned Cat a spot on the department's official online members list. This feline’s got her firefighters backs —helping with hoses, supervising first aid training, and keeping the photocopier company.
“She’s actually not scared of anything,” Stephanie says. “We can be doing auto-extrication with drills and hydraulics and loud sounds and she’s right in there!”
And we recently discovered — during a no-doubt serious newsy Zoom interview with the Mayor of Metchosin — that Cat is everywhere.
“So what’s been happening here while I’ve been doing this interview is…,” John starts to say while bending out of the computer-screen frame to pick up Cat. “This cat’s been trying to sit on my lap!”
Cat started walking from the fire hall to the municipal hall a few years ago.
“[She] attends our council meetings,” John laughs.
She is not the first feline to adopt the Metchosin Municipal Hall.
Decades ago, there was another roaming feline named Felix who frequented the hall so much he was invited to attend the staff Christmas party. There’s even a picture of the cat wearing a small Santa suit.
“That’s Metchosin!” John laughs. “Victoria has municipal lawyers. We have a municipal cat!”
But Cat always returns to the fire hall to greet her firefighters. When they get back from particularly tough calls, she can play a priceless role.
“Especially during [the pandemic] when you don’t get that personal touch anymore,” Stephanie says. “People will just sit and pet her and it's getting that connection with something.”
A connection with a cat who perhaps wasn’t lost on the roof that rainy day. Cat had just found her perfect home.