VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Minshu Mo lost everything when a fire tore through her Mount Pleasant home Thursday, but she’s holding out hope her precious pet can still be found.
Mo and her mother live in two suites above Frenchie’s restaurant on Main Street with Mo’s cat Diesel, a fluffy, eight-pound “perfect tuxedo” who wears a red bandana around her neck.
It was Diesel who first alerted Mo’s mother to the fact that something was amiss.
“She said she woke up late in the morning and was trying to go and feed the cat and the cat was not like usual, usually she just comes to my mom. Instead, the cat was just very unsettled, jumping up and down. She sensed something wrong but it was way beyond her imagination,” Mo tells NEWS 1130.
“Animals are a lot more intuitive than humans I guess.”
When Mo’s mother opened the door to their balcony what she saw seemed like a “special effect from a movie,” according to Mo.
“She saw a big fireball, it came right in her face. So she was shocked, could not believe this was true.”
The fire ended up being a third-alarm, devastating the businesses on the ground floor and totally destroying Mo’s second-floor home.
“The whole thing is burned down. Now it’s just basically rubble,” Mo says.
A GoFundMe set up for the family says, “Minshu’s mother left the burning apartment in only her pajamas and bathrobe.” The online fundraiser raised more than $10,000 in less than 24 hours to help the pair with essentials. Mo is overwhelmed by the support, but says her priority is finding Diesel.
“I don’t have a lot of valuable belongings, I don’t have much, I’m not particularly attached to stuff. I just want my cat,” she says.
The worry is that Diesel didn’t escape the apartment, but so far Mo says firefighters have not found any remains in the burned-out unit.
“I hope she ran off because she was scared, and is hiding somewhere.”
Mo is organizing nightly search parties. Posters with the cat’s picture — taken the day before the fire — have been plastered throughout the neighborhood.
“I am devastated and desperately looking for her as she is an indoor cat and never went out by herself,” reads a Facebook post asking for volunteers to grab their flashlights and help with the search.
Anyone who sees the cat is being under to contact Mo on social media or by calling the phone number on the poster.
Mo’s mother is in Vancouver visiting from China, a trip that has been extended indefinitely due to the pandemic.
“A lot has happened this year,” she says.