Knot Furgotten Cat Rescue still open despite devastating fire

Kathleen Dixon, left, and Marisa Dixon from Knot Furgotten hold some of the cats who were rescued from their burning home on Wednesday night with the help of a dozen neighbours on Thursday July 11, 2019 in Ingleside, Ont. Alan S. Hale/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network Alan S. Hale / Alan S. Hale/Standard-Freeholder

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This article has been edited to clarify that the Dixons began rescuing cats eight years ago, while Knot Furgotten was established last year.

 

INGLESIDE — Knot Furgotten Cat Rescue may be down, but it is not defeated.

The Dixon Family, which began rescuing cats eight years ago and founded Knot Furgotten in 2018, says its work will continue almost as normal despite the fire that destroyed the family home in Ingleside Wednesday night. The house also served as the organization’s quarantine facility where freshly-rescued cats and kittens were housed for 14 days to ensure they are healthy enough to be sent to foster homes.

Most of the family was away when the blaze began on Wednesday, with only their 13-year-old son being at home. The exact cause of the fire is still unknown, but it started in the kitchen and engulfed the house in a matter of minutes. The son was able to get out of the house safely with the family’s dogs.

“When the fire first started, we came running out trying to get the windows open. We had 12 people trying to cut the chicken wire on our porch (meant to keep the cats in),” recalled Marisa Dixon, daughter of the family.

The house is a complete loss and will have to be torn down, but the Dixons have insurance, and the Canadian Red Cross has set the family up with temporary housing. Not only does it intend to rebuild, but it plans to keep the cat rescue functioning while it does so – although it will be a couple of weeks before it is able to take in any additional animals.

“The shelter still open,” declared Kathleen Dixon, mother of the family. “We are going to keep going. We just can’t go at it from here, for now. We don’t have a quarantine zone right now. But I think we’ll come out of this stronger. ”

It is not known how many of the cats in their care died in the fire, but Kathleen Dixon said it is not as high as 80 as has been reported elsewhere. Several cats also escaped or were rescued from a backroom due to the efforts of the more than a dozen people who came to help. Most of the felines under Knot Furgotten’s care were not at the house, but are instead being cared for by the organization’s large network of foster homes.

That being said, the fire struck the cat rescue at the worst possible time and made the loss of feline life worse than it otherwise could have been.

Knot Furgotten was in the process of getting ready for two kitten adoption events in Cornwall and Morrisburg this weekend. Because of this, the house had more kittens gathered there for one final health check before being adopted – at least 24 of them perished.

“The number is higher than it should have been … it’s just unfortunate timing. We always do that check before adoption days and had the fire happened the day before, we would have lost half that amount,” lamented Kathleen Dixon.

Despite the catastrophic fire, Knot Forgotten’s cat adoption days will proceed as planned, with both taking place at local Pet Valu stores – every Saturday this month in Cornwall, and every Friday and Saturday in Morrisburg.

The Dixons are also very appreciative of the outpouring of support for them on Thursday. Friends and neighbours brought supplies including extra animal cages for the cats who had escaped the blaze. A local restaurant in Ingleside even brought the family breakfast on Thursday.

A crowdfunding campaign was launched on behalf of the family to help cover short-term expenses and has raised nearly $1,000 as of this writing. Lainna Cadieux, who is known for her charity bake sales, says she is planning two more to benefit the Knot Furgotten to be held at the Cornwall Giant Tiger on July 31 and Aug. 1.

“I’m stunned by the level of support they received, it’s been amazing,” said Lucy Honsinger, the family’s aunt.

Anyone else who wants to make a donation to support the restoration of the cat rescue can do so by dropping it off at a Pet Valu location.

ahale@postmedia.com

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