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Burned cat rescued from Santa Rosa storm drain reunited with owners

Abu, a badly burned cat found down a storm drain in Fountaingrove, has been reunited with his owner. (COURTESY PHOTO)

KEVIN MCCALLUM,

The badly burned cat rescued from a storm drain in a fire-ravaged Fountaingrove neighborhood has been reunited with his owner and is now being treated at UC Davis.

“He’s a survivor,” owner Eric Menton said Tuesday of Abu, the 12-year-old tabby cat. “We knew, with all the moves he’d been through, he’d figure out how to survive, and sure enough, he did.”

The story is just one of many emerging of injured or missing animals being reunited with family members as they try to rebuild their lives in the wake of the catastrophic North Bay wildfires.

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Menton, his wife and their two stepdaughters evacuated their Wedgewood Way home early Monday morning after one of the girls smelled smoke. They rounded up their two dogs, but Abu, who is an outdoor cat, was nowhere to be found.

Their home was destroyed by the Tubbs fire. A family friend who went to check on their house heard Abu crying on Wednesday and alerted Menton, who worked with animal control services to rescue the cat. Marin Humane animal services officers Chelsea Hayes and Rachel Dalton descended into the dark storm drain Friday, where they coaxed the cat into a carrier and hauled him to safety. (See video of the rescue here)

Because of the severity of the burns on his feet and stomach, Abu was transferred for further care at UC Davis. Donations from the public are funding care for Abu and other animals affected by the fires, Menton said.

Abu is there now getting IV fluids and his veterinarian is trying to get him to eat and to keep his dressings clean, said Menton, who had taken to calling him “Abu the Supercat.”

His daughter, who is now in medical school, got Abu when she was a sophomore in high school and the cat endured several moves over the years. Menton, an aerospace engineer, had only lived in the Fountaingrove home for three years, but Abu had the street smarts he needed to save himself, Menton said.

“He’s kind of a crotchety old soul,” Menton said, “who was smart enough to know where to go.”

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @srcitybeat.