Emmy the cat, formally known as Emerald, has acquired a new nickname: Embers.
She earned it honestly. The 11-year-old feline survived a fire that destroyed her family’s home, and two others in the Whispering Woods community in Arnold. And while devastating, the losses were confined to material things; no one was seriously hurt or killed.
Emmy’s family, Tori Asher, and Mike Kangas were not at home at the time of the fire, which was ignited by a neighbor’s grill. The families in the two other homes also escaped with minor injuries.
To Asher, Emmy’s survival is miraculous. The fire started mid-afternoon on July 4. By that evening, three houses were destroyed, and the couple, family and friends started posting on social media that Emmy was missing.
Asher said the post was shared over 1,000 times, along with an outpouring of love and support from the community. Severnty-two hours later, the insurance adjuster was inventorying the damage in the kitchen of the home.
She moved a bag of dry cat food, and the cat “popped out and started meowing”. They rushed Emmy to the vet where she was given fluids and declared healthy.
After the fire, the community pulled together, creating several fundraising sites. The couple’s friend Shane Silverman started a Go Fund Me, and $5,000 was raised by 33 people in six days. Asher owns the home, and says that while her insurance company has been responsive, it will be seven to nine months before the home is rebuilt.
She is unsure if they will return even when it is rebuilt. They are staying with family and friends.
Asher and Kangas, both graduates of Broadneck High School met in 2003, when each worked at O’Loughlin’s Restaurant. She works in the finance industry and he is a landscapers and photographer.
She was at work when the fire started, and Kangas, who had just returned home from attending the movies with his family, arrived home to the scene of the fire. Asher expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of love and support from the community.
To see more pictures of Emmy, you can go to cute cat_ Emmy, on Instagram. Gift cards to Target, Walmart, or grocery stores are being collected by Lyn Marone at Designer Consignor in the Bay Hills Shopping Center.