Bad Kitty Bessie · Stories

Bad Kitty Bessie and the Butte Fire Animals


I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned them previously, but we have two family cats that we care about greatly. Bessie and Boots (affectionately called “Bootsy) were both rescued from the local animal shelter. Bootsy was just a kitten at the time …but Bessie was an adult and already filled with the spunk and attitude that gained her the title of “spirited” by the shelter staff.


Bessie was the only kitty at the pound who wasn’t allowed to “socialize” with other cats… and who shredded the newspaper in her cage.

Since the first day we brought Bessie home, she’s made it very clear that she views her “rescue” (and consequential life as an indoor kitty) as a cruel form of imprisonment. She fights us like a rebellious prisoner, resentful of the Warden and prison guards. Every once in a while though, between shredding rolls of toilet paper, hiding around corners to viciously attack our ankles and pooping on pillows, Bessie lets her sweet, loving personality shine through.


She gives good kitty kisses too… or maybe just likes guessing what the kids ate for lunch.

Although they love both kitties, because of the endless entertainment of her unpredictable and rambunctious personality (and her underlying affection towards them), the kids are especially enamored with Bessie. Charlie begged me to start an Instagram and Facbook account for her “…just like ‘Sam Has Eyebrows’ and ‘Grumpy Cat’!”. And so, “Bad Kitty Bessie” was born.


The facebook page hasn’t taken off as quickly as Instagram where Bad Kitty Bessie has more than 5,000 followers.

Recently though, “Bad Kitty Bessie” has taken on a more important mission than promoting the adoption of shelter animals through fluffy kitty pictures and complaining about her “cellmate” Bootsy. As a family of animal lovers, it has been extremely upsetting to see the overwhelming number of missing animal posters following the recent Butte Fire in our neighboring county. Worse yet are the online posts from local veterinarians and rescue groups looking for the owners of displaced (and sometimes badly burned) animals… including several kitties. To try to help with the animal recovery efforts, Bessie shared the following collage and caption:

“Our community has recently been inundated with missing pet posters and images of badly burned animals whose evacuated families need to be located. These are just a few of the hundreds (maybe thousands) of animals injured, lost and displaced by the nearby Butte Fire. If you are a local follower, please share this image in hopes that someone recognizes one of these fuzzy victims. If you aren’t local but have the ability to donate to the Red Cross or other charities assisting the victims of California’s raging wildfires, please do so. #please #buttefire”

Although I had recieved some misinformation prior to creating the collage (apparently the black kitty in the center photo is a victim of the Valley Fire, not the Butte Fire… but still deserves to be identified, so no harm done!), the response was unprecedented. Many of Bessie’s followers asked for links so they could donate to help the Butte Fire animals.

I responded by posting on several local community Facebook groups to ask for the names of local rescues, veterinarians and groups that were caring for the Butte Fire animals. I also asked for photos of anyone’s missing kitty that they’d like me to share. This followup post was the result:

“These kitties have been missing since the Butte Fire ravaged their homes and neighborhoods. If anyone in the region spots one of these precious fur babies, please message me. I’ve saved the contact information for their owners and reuniting them could bring a much needed bright ray of hope in what is a very dark time for many. #ButteFire #LostPets #Help #PleaseShare”

I recieved an outpouring of recommendations for various charities and groups caring for the Butte Fire animals too. I’m going to do my best to share their images of some of the rescued kitties. Hopefully someone will recognize one of these poor fuzzy little patients so they can be reunited with their families. To help with that process, I’ll be grouping them by location, so they can be easily found. I’ll also do my best to share information on how to donate to the various groups and organizations that have been providing these helpless burn victims with the love, care and companionship they so desperately need. If anyone has the ability to donate, please do so.

Based on recommendations from the local community, I’m starting with Angels Camp Veterinary Hospital. These angels have gone out of their way to take in as many injured animals as possible and have been diligent at getting their fuzzy patients’ images online and even on TV to try to find their families. I commend their tireless efforts and hope to further their cause through my own Instagram and Facebook posts:

“These kitties’ burns are being well cared for at Angels Camp Veterinary Hospital but they undoubtedly miss their families… who are probably standing in the ruins of their burned homes, mourning the loss of their fur babies. Please share. You never know who might recognize them. #ButteFire #ButteFireAnimals #LostPets #TiniestBurnVictims”

If you are able to contribute any kind of donation the Angels Camp Veterinary Hospital for the care of these Butte Fire kitties, please do so. This is the information that they posted directly to their facebook page:


The next group of Butte Fire animal recuers suggested to me was the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. I had an incredibly difficult time narrowing down the dozens of images on their Facebook page of kitty burn victims. I definitely suggest looking them up on Facebook if you are looking for your pet and don’t see it here. Not only are they caring for Butte Fire *and* Valley Fire survivors but their burn patients are in an array of species. Cats. Dogs. Even chickens!

“The Butte Fire may be nearing containment but these precious burn victims at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine are still waiting to be identified so they can find their families. #Share. #Repost. Spread the word. Someone is looking for each of them…”

To donate to The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine specifically to help with the care of Butte Fire rescued animals, just click this link and follow the directions to pay online. As always, any and all support is deeply appreciated.

UPDATE 10/15/15
Angels Camp Veterinary Hospital recently posted a collection of photos of Butte Fire kitties that have been discharged from UC Davis. These kitties still have not been identified or claimed by their families. Once again, I’m posting their images here, on my Facebook accounts and on Instagram. These poor babies deserve to go home and be loved.

“California’s historically destructive #ButteFire may have burned out but the effects are still being felt. These precious fuzzies were rescued from the flames and treated at US Davis before being discharged to Angels Camp Veterinary Hospital. These are nicknames because their real names and families are still unknown. Spread the word. Share the image. #HelpThemGetHome”
-Bad Kitty Bessie


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