Hayes & Harlington Gazette
Cat who fled fatal house returns after two months missing
QUEENIE FLED FROM FIRE THAT BROKE OUT IN NOVEMBER
THE mum of a man who died in a house fire in Brentford last year has been overjoyed to have been reunited with her “beloved” cat which escaped and had to fend for itself for months.
The cat, named Queenie, was one of 16 cats that were in the house at the time of the blaze, on November 14 2022.
Bobbie Wason, 65, was in the house at the time the fire broke out and she rushed to her son, Ali Khan, who was still inside the home, but despite grabbing him by the hand she lost track of where he was and he was later pronounced dead at the scene.
The 16 cats were nine generations of the same family line, all descended from the matriarch named Sherni – the Roman Hindi word meaning lioness – whom Bobbie had received as a gift for Mother’s Day “many years ago”.
When she emerged from the fire, on top of the devastation of losing her son, Bobbie ended up hunting for her pets, many of which remained unaccounted for months later.
Miraculously, though, Queenie, who was eight months old at the time of the fire, has been reunited with Bobbie after being found at the end of January.
Bobbie said: “She’s a fighter that cat, I absolutely love her. She’s been on her own for [over] two months, the poor thing. Queenie was staying at the burnt out property and neighbours could hear her crying. She has survived two months and 12 days all alone.
“The neighbours called the RSPCA who put out a cat trap and she was returned to me. I’m so thankful to everyone who tried to help find my cats and I want to give a huge thank you to the RSPCA who put out the cat trap.”
Speaking at the time of the fire at the home, in Netley Road, Bobbie said she believed it started in Ali’s room where she saw his mattress on fire. She ran in and grabbed his hand and ran out.
She said at the time: “I thought he was right behind me and I could feel his hand, then when I got out and I looked back, [I realised] he must have fallen or lost hold of me.”
She added: “I’m staying strong because my son had a difficult time with mental health issues.
“He was an alcoholic and I always said that I wouldn’t cry when he passed and I haven’t. I know he is in a better place now and just ask that people pray for my son.”
Bobbie has been unable to return to the home where she lived with her son due to structural damage which was caused to the property as a result of the devastating blaze.
In the aftermath of the fatal fire, Bobbie scoured the neighbourhood in search of her cats. At the time she said that most of the cats had been found but she was fearful that an 11-week-old kitten was killed in the fire.
In total 11 of the cats have been found, 10 of them are now living with Bobbie while one of them has been rehomed. Five of the cats are still unaccounted for and are presumed dead or lost, so finding Queenie again has been some welcome good news after an unimaginably difficult few months.