|DiAngelo, an 11-year-old domestic short hair cat that was injured during a recent house fire, is tended to by Dr. Kate Lupton at the Family Pet Hospital Thursday.
Herald photo by David Rossiter
A Lethbridge family whose home was destroyed in a kitchen fire last month is fighting to save their beloved pet cat.
Christina Kinahan, her boyfriend Dallas and their three children weren't home when the devastating fire sparked inside their house in the 1200 block of 6 Avenue South on Sunday, Nov. 25, causing $70,000 in damage and claiming the lives of the family's two pet dogs.
Their pet cat, DiAngelo, or Dilo - an 11-year-old orange tabby - is clinging to life at a local veterinary clinic. Her recovery is important to the couple's children, who are all under the age of five, according to Kinahan's aunt, Tami Bene, who spoke on the family's behalf, saying they were too overwhelmed to do interviews.
"They've grown up with her," she said.
"They don't understand why they're not home and they don't understand where the dogs have gone."
But as Dilo remains in care, receiving oxygen treatments and likely brain damaged from inhaling smoke, the vet bills are climbing up to a few thousand dollars.
"It's unsure as to how severe that will be, because cats have a way of bouncing back, the vet says," Bene said.
Her niece isn't one to ask for help, Bene said, and the family found a place to rent in the meantime and is gathering new clothes and toys for the kids, but "right now, their greatest hurdle is the cat."
"Their goal is kind of to just get through Christmas and try to make it as good of a Christmas as could be for the kids," she said, adding that part of that is making sure Dilo will be all right.
"The biggest thing now is help with DiAngelo."
The Family Pet Hospital 24-Hour Pet Emergency Centre at 2303 6 Avenue South is accepting donations for the cat. The official cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Bene said the family believes it may have sparked because of a faulty stove.