My name is Pam Cameron, creator of Arkansas Pet Gazette.
Thursday morning at 1:00 am, I was awakened by my boyfriend and my roommate who were concerned about the presence of fire trucks outside our apartment building at Forest Place. My roommate checked the hallways, heard the crackle of fire, and told us we needed to go outside.
We had no idea we would never go back in.
That crackling fire turned into a blaze that consumed the third floor of our building. It took firefighters til sunrise to put it out.
My only thought as I watched from the parking lot while my apartment building burned to the ground was “I hope Ms. Betty is okay.”
Ms. Betty Call was my neighbor on the second floor. She is eighty three years old and we became friends shortly after I moved in two years ago. We bonded over our cats. When she saw me walking mine outside on a leash, she invited me up to meet hers: a solid black named Sylvester and an orange and white named Sebastian.
Ms. Betty made it out of the fire alive, but her cats hid from the noise of firemen banging on the door and she couldn’t find them in time to take them with her.
“My apartment was filling up with smoke and I couldn’t find my cats.” she said.
She had no choice but to go with the firemen, leaving her cats behind.
Friday and Saturday came and went, the burned out building wrapped in caution tape. I had almost lost hope that her cats had survived.
Then, Sunday, I witnessed a miracle. As I walked around the grounds of our former apartment, I saw an orange and white cat jump up on the railing of her second floor balcony! Then I saw a solid black cat walking around on the floor of the balcony! They survived!
I called Betty and told her the good news. She was overjoyed. “Pam, those cats are just like my children. God bless you!” she said.
Her daughter called the fire department, and the fire department showed up at the apartment, only to be told by Little Rock Police that they could not even get close to the building.
I drove to the apartment and asked the cop doing surveillance if I could at least throw cat food up onto the second floor balcony and was told, “No. You’re already standing too close to the building. No one gets in until the fire department completes their investigation (into the cause of the fire).”
“When will that be?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” she replied.
Having been completely stonewalled, I called my last available option, Channel 7 News, and told them the situation. They didn’t seem interested in the story.
So, here we are. Two cats are still alive walking around in apartment 228 with no fresh water and no food other than what they can scavenge. And no one is going to help them unless there is a public outcry.
Please forward this story to everyone you know. I have no connections within the police department or the fire department, but maybe someone who reads this story will. And just maybe, if we’re not too late, we can save Sylvester and Sebastian.