Tail of survival: Cat reunites with family after Apex apartment fire

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- After a fire broke out at Beaver Creek Apartment and Townhomes on Saturday, a cat belonging to Josh Dobbins and Kirsten Simpson was seemingly nowhere to be found.

The two Apex residents were grateful to account for the safety of every member of their household with the exception of their cat Onyx. Members of their community were on the lookout for the black, long-hair cat, but were unable to find him.

Returning to the complex the next day for a Super Bowl party with friends, the couple said they were suddenly overwhelmed with relief when they happened to look up at their apartment window.

There in the window sat Onyx, alive and well, peeking down at them, evidently having used one of his nine lives.

"We were relieved," Simpson recalled. "We were crying. My 4-year-old was hysterical."

The two sprang into action to rescue their cat from the charred building, Simpson said.

"We took it upon ourselves knowing that the cat was alive," Simpson said. "We lured him with some tuna, cat food, treats and water, and we were actually able to get him."

At the time of the fire, firefighters were able to recover the couple's other cat, Aura, who remained healthy and safe despite a small burn on his back paw, according to Simpson. Onyx stayed hidden from rescuers and was deemed missing.

According to Simpson and Dobbins, the comfort brought by their cats' safe return has given them peace of mind during the difficult times after the fire.

"The cats are probably what's holding our composure, really, for all of us to make it out alive and unscathed," they said.

Despite having owned Onyx for only around two weeks prior to his miraculous return, Dobbins said they felt a strong connection to their new pet and were grateful for the help from their fellow community members to find him.

"I'm just thankful that everybody's come together like they have to help us," Dobbins said. "We all got out, but we got pretty much two other kids back. That's pretty much what they are. They're our kids, and we're just glad that they're back and unharmed."

Simpson and Dobbins said they feel thankful for the safety of their family and pets, in addition to support and donations from their community.

"It's nice to know there's some good still left in the world," Simpson said.
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