Ok, bear with me please. This is very fresh and I'm still a little freaked out here. But I wanted to write it down. When I think what could have happened.. I'm getting teary eyed and freaking myself out, so I want to write what DID happen, not what could have happened so hopefully to reinforce that we are ok!
My whole neighborhood is ok! And it's all thanks to Glitter, the sweetest, prettiest, cuddliest hero ever!
It started, like this things always do, when we were sound asleep. I still had the TV and a light on, but I'd fallen asleep and was probably out for the night, TV noise or not. (obviously not the first time this has happened..) I got woken up by Glitter stomping her way up my chest. She's not a little kitty, not fat, just a large cat, and certainly not something you can ignore. So I started petting her, trying to keep my eyes shut so I could stay asleep.
She was persistent, but she always is. So I gave her big snugs and hugs. Glitter, you see, is very fond of the 'two arm wrap around bear hug belly rub', so I obliged. She was restless and didn't stay long. But now I was awake.. I don't know about you, but when I wake up there is one thing I have to do.. and this woke Greg up who asked "do you smell smoke?" I did not but I looked out the window and the yard looked foggy. No, idiot, I told my brain, not foggy, smoky!
Greg looked out the front and back, especially the back because the idiot right behind us has been known to leave his fire pit unattended. But it's winter.. Didn't see anything. Greg looked out the side and yelled! Catty corner to us was fire! He ran to the phone and called 911 while I freaked out! Because, well, that's my thing... I'm a freak-outer.
I had reason to though. In the few minutes before we heard sirens, the fire grew! It was taller than the two story houses around it! There is no way to describe exactly how scary this was! It looked SO CLOSE and SO BIG! And all I could think was our van is broken and we only have two cat carriers and three cats! I kept screaming for Greg to get the carriers out so if we had to go they wouldn't freak the second they saw them. Rather, they could freak. then get used to them being out, then hopefully be easily caught if we had to run for our lives, which it looked like we'd have to do! Where were the firemen!?!?
Honest to God, it felt like an hour, but they were there within five minutes. By then the garage (which we found out in a little bit was what was on fire) was a conflagration, and the fence and a tree were on fire too!
Pretty soon we saw it... Sparks. EVERYWHERE! They looked like they were raining off of our roof, dropping past my window. I could see them everywhere, embers, sparks, whatever, little floating orange bits of stuff. They were rolling off of the garage behind us like fuzz from the cottonwoods do in summer!
That was enough for Greg, he ran outside. He said he was stomping out embers in our yard; the snow is gone and we never got the dried leaves off the lawn.. He popped his head in to say what he was doing and to say he was going to wake the neighbor, the one who's house the fire was behind, so they could check their yard. That left me to quietly (or not so quietly) continue to freak out in the house. And there are still only two cat carriers and now the cats out of sight! I don't know why a third carrier didn't just magically appear now that we needed it..
Again, it felt like it rained embers forever, but it was probably less than half an hour. Greg stayed out there stomping and checking the roof. So did the neighbor who lost his fence. I kept watching the fire get smaller and smaller, and was able to start breathing again..
Greg and the neighbor showed the firemen where embers were starting another tree on fire because they had gathered in the crook of branches up high. That tree was closer to our house! But they got it out, thank God!
The fire is out, Greg is back in, the garage that was on fire is now on the ground, nothing left, the fence is charred and burnt. The tree is still standing, I think we'll have to look at it in daylight to see how bad it is. Because as I'm writing this, it's 5am and dark out. Which makes me think.. the reason I could see the smoke outside must have been because of the light from the fire, because I can't see anything out the windows now.
If the fire department had been any later... If we hadn't woken up.. If Glitter hadn't woken us up.. I think the whole neighborhood would have gone up, certainly more than one garage and fence. It was SO intense and got huge SO fast.. Makes me wonder what the heck started it? It could have been so much worse. So I had to use a cold compress on my eyes because of the smoke that got in, that's little compared to if we'd have had to leave or if it had spread to our house or a million other possibilities that will keep me up for the rest of the night..
I'm thankful for the firemen. Thankful for Greg. Thankful for Twin2 who let me freak out at her on the phone while Greg was outside. Thankful to God for keeping us safe. And seriously thankful for my pretty Glitter for stomping me awake in time!
Neighborhood watch kitty saves us all!
Oh, and guess who's going to buy a new cat carrier so we have one for each kitty? Yup, me!
Thanks for listening! I know I am probably all over the place and will read this with horror later, but I had to get it out and I do feel less freaked out now! Maybe I will sleep some after all.. later. ;)
On a night when I'm all freaked out and had to tell you all this long story, I still don't want to forget to post this:
Mo is the guy who keeps the Cat Blogosphere going on a daily basis and posts about our fundraisers and so many other events around the blogosphere!
Happy Birthday Mo! Hope you know that we all love you!