Last month, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, leaving at least 50,000 people dead.
In the weeks after the disasters, search-and-rescue crews were hard at work searching for survivors… and one firefighter found an unexpected new friend in the rubble, providing a glimmer of hope in this dark time.
A Turkish firefighter named Ali Cakas was among the rescue workers searching for survivors on the Turkey-Syria border, searching for humans as well as animals.
On the fifth day of searching, Cakas and his crew dug out a tiny cat from the rubble. They named it “Enkaz,” meaning rubble.
“It might sound a little off-putting, but we wanted it to be a memory this way,” Cakas said.
While they were able to reunite some rescued pets with their owners, they didn’t know where Enkaz came from. So instead, the firefighters decided to care for the poor cat themselves.
“We share everything we eat and drink here with Enkaz. The cat did not leave our side either,” Cakas said.
The cat became especially attached to Cakas: video shows Enkaz perched on the firefighter’s shoulder.
After being trapped under the rubble for days, Enkaz no doubt feels some much-needed safety and security with him. “He’s not leaving,” the firefighter said.
Cakas says he has been trying to find out if Enkaz has a home, in which case he would reunite it with its family. But in the meantime, he’s taking care of it himself — and will adopt the cat for good if it needs a home.
“I see sadness in this cat,” Cakas explained. “I keep it by my side, especially in case the owner comes. But if the owner doesn’t come out, I’m thinking of taking him with me, it will be a memory.”
Their story has gone viral, with millions of views on Twitter and Reddit. It seems the story of Enkaz’s rescue is giving people a glimmer of hope in this sad situation.
Thank you to this firefighter for saving this poor cat from the rubble! It’s clear the cat loves his rescuer and we hope the two will be very happy together!
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