Rescue Kittens Help Those Feeling Loss of Loved Ones

1 Comment

Photo of author

By Adrea

It may seem like a small thing, but taking in a rescued kitten has helped ease the loss of one woman’s husband to fire.

Firefighter loses life during Substation blaze

The Substation Fire, outside Portland, Oregon, destroyed almost 80,000 acres. A deadly wildfire, it destroyed wildlife, homes, vehicles, crops, and took the life of one firefighter, John Ruby.

“It’s been rough time to adjust without my husband,” Melodie Ryan told KGW8.

John Ruby_1538614981639.jpg.jpg
John Ruby


Kitten found near fire line

As firefighters battled the blaze, the discovered a tiny, two-week-old kitten. They named it “John,” to honor their fallen friend and colleague.  When Melodie heard about the kitten, she made her first visit to see him, the day of her husband’s funeral. She was enchanted by Little John and took to visiting him frequently.

“This little kitten has kind of helped with the mood,” she shared.

Little John finds a home and Melodie finds some solace

Melodie adopted LJ on what would have been John’s 65th birthday.  She decided to call him LJ because everytime she called for kitten John, the dog would look for his owner.

“A small way, it just keeps my mind occupied. He makes me laugh, the little things he does. He’s pretty rambunctious as you can tell. He’s a pistol. He loves to play. He loves to go outside for walks.”

“It was a happy day and I was just coming to visit him often. It was really emotional and a happy day for me.”


The Brooks family is still grieving from the loss of husband and father, Christopher Brooks.  Brooks, a Sullivan County (TN) volunteer firefighter, was killed in a motorcycle accident several months ago. Brooks widow told WJHL the kids were having a very difficult time coping and a kitten, named “Lucky,” may help ease a little bit of the pain.

“Every time we would get close it would run away from us, so after about 45 minutes of chasing the cat around the engine compartment of the car, we just grabbed her,” Assistant Chief Josh Kemp of Sullivan County Volunteer Fire Department said. “We named her Lucky. We feel that she was a pretty lucky cat.”

Photos were posted to the Volunteer Fire Department’s  Facebook page of Lucky and it seemed like a perfect match for the Brooks family.

A little bit of love

“The kids are pretty excited. I didn’t know we would be bringing her home a couple of hours later, but they asked us if we wanted her and with my husband passing away, the kids are having a hard time. I figured if I gave them that it would be a little thing to keep their mind off of what’s going on.”

“My husband was part of the fire department so it’s a little piece of home,” Brooks said.


About Author

1 thought on “Rescue Kittens Help Those Feeling Loss of Loved Ones”

  1. ❤️?I know the feeling of no longer having a family member at home; when I had to go to the hospital last year my brother and I talked it over and decided to give my cat to a foster lady, when I came home it was lonely not having the fur baby there but suddenly my brother died and I had no one at home so I contacted the fostering lady and asked if I could have my cat back…she knew that I would want her back so the cat never was put up for adoption…I was so glad to have her back! We set together at the table and she sleeps with me again…I have my fur baby back again?❤️

Leave a Comment