Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Pablog exclusive: Axel's narrow escape, part 2

Axel and Manny enjoying a snuggle when they were reunited after the fires.

As promised, part 2 of my Pablog exclusive: Axel's narrow escape (check out yesterday's post if you missed part 1):

Nonno quickly got us out of there, but there was no other free road, so we had to go back home. We didn’t have much time, so it was back to the dam next to the vineyard where we held our last stand. We were all ready with blankets to jump into the dam if need be. With pumps and hoses going, we were not only able to save ourselves, but also the vineyard, sheds, equipment and house too!! The paddocks and fences and all that was in them are gone though.

Daddy tried to get up to us, but was blocked at every road in by the police. He knows the area well, and found a forestry road in, but was stopped only a few km’s away by burning trees on the road!! He had to go back home, not knowing what happened to us. It was all ok for us though, he came the next morning with Aunty Gianna, and helped out with the initial cleanup. The goats survived too. We lost a lot, but nothing compared to so many in our area and the rest of fire zone.
The danger hadn’t passed though, it was days until all the spot fires were out, and the threat of another big fire was real. So the fire fighters charged though the properties putting in fire breaks with bulldozers and were backburning.

I hope that the pictures tell a better story then I have. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words.

As heartbreaking as it was for all this to happen, and what is still happening, it’s also heartwarming too!! Within hours, the reports of property loss and the death toll was being fed to us. But also as fast was news about the support and relief efforts! Every imaginable thing has been thought of and supplied to everyone affected by the fires. Even cat food!! You see, even though our property and house may not have been burnt down, there are still a lot of other long-term problems to be fixed. Ash and silt are everywhere!! All food and water is contaminated, the house needs to be washed down, inside and out. The animals now have to be hand fed, as there is literally no grass left. And the cleanup effort will take months to finish. I normally like a nice dead animal to play with. But there are so many around – wombats, kangaroo’s, possums, rabbits, deer, as well as livestock– that the stench is unbearable in this heat.

But the main thing is we’re all ok. A lot of the neighbours were not so lucky, losing a lot or everything. And it has brought the community, and Australia, together!! I am so proud to be an Australian!! Even though there are a few sick people taking advantage of the generosity, we are, as a whole, the lucky country. And Daddy says from now on he will chew the head off any hippy who whinges about the nation!!

With love and purrs,
Axel. Full-time Farm Supervisor and part-time Tiger.
A goat in one of the fields that was saved from the fire... you can see how dry the countryside was before the fires!

A goose in the area where Manny's parents stopped the fire. Hooray!

Manny and Butch posing in front of the damaged farmland. Even in times of crisis, Manny is a poser (!)

What an amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing it with us, Axel and Manny. By the way, if you want to give financial support to those who need help after these awful fires, you can go to the links I posted in my post last Tuesday.


P.S. Kate's a little bit worried about what will happen next time she sees Manny, as she may well be one of the 'hippies who whinge about the nation' that he was talking about!!


Tracey and Huffle said...

What a great story! I'm so glad Axel and his family were all okay.

Huffle Mawson

Forever Foster said...

Axel, that was a great story. We felt like we were there alongside you. We are also in awe of the way the country has come together. It makes you remember what is really important.


Poppy Q said...

Axel that was awesome!! Dude I am glad that you and the grandparents and the goat were safe.

We are thinking of all of our Aussie neighbours who have been through so much.

Poppy and Mum Q
New Zealand

P.S you should have your own blog too!!

MoMo said...

Thanks for bringing us the purrsonal touch of the disaster that touches everyone in this country. We are glad that Axel and his family are spared.

Kaz's Cats said...

Pabs, you're a great reporter - this is one stunning story! Axel, we're so glad that you and you family survived and were able to save your home and some of the farm. Looking at those photos, and having seen some others on the web, we're in awe that you managed to fight the fire at least partly successfully. Yayyy for your family! It's been an amazing couple of weeks, and we're very proud to be Aussie cats too!


Gypsy & Tasha

Eric and Flynn said...

Axel told his story very well and told us of things we just didn't think about like the food and water being contaminated.We are very sad for all those that lost their lives and property.

Parker said...

Wow, I am speechless.
Axel, I am so glad that you and your family are OK!

Jan's Funny Farm said...

We are so glad to know Axel and all his family are okay. That must have been so frightening! We are glad they are getting help since there is much to be done.

HotMBC said...

Wow, Axel, yoo and yore fambly are so brave! We's so glad yall got safe!!!
Sanjee and the resta the Hotties

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

wow! that was to close. it is wonderful that your entire nation is pulling together in support of those who need it.
i know worldwide there are people donating money and sending prayers. purrrrrrrrrrrrs

those photos are amazing. wow, we never even thought about what happens to the livestock that survived when there is no grass left!

We think when/if they find the other beans that started fires, and when/if they are found guilty, they shouldn't just go to jail, they should have to physically help those who have to handfeed livestock and replow fields. purrrrrrrs to you all!

Mickey,Georgia , Tillie said...

Pablo,thank you for posting Axel's story!! We are happy they are OK,but it is easy to see it will take a long time to put things right!!
Big purrs for everyone caught up in the terrible fires!!!
Purrs Mickey,Georgia & Tillie

Honey P. Sunshine said...

hugs axel yoo are so cute

Daisy said...

Thank you so much for sharing that story with us. It is so much more real when we can read a firsthand account. And it is so scairty seeing those photos, how close the fire came.

Pumpkin said...

Axel, I'm so glad yore fambly is okay. Great report!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for sharing your story! I was very scared and very so very glad that it was not a bad ending.
We cry when we watch the news, not only for all the thousands of homes and hundreds of hooman lives, but momma can't help thinking about all the many thousands of animals..
We are not in shock about what a great country Australia is, but we haves to say that we also saw that many overseas regular people helped out so much too.
ok I must stop writing story book..

SophieKitty said...

What a story! And what a sweet picture of Manny and Axel. I'm glad their ok.

Derby said...

Goodness what an adventure. Scary but glad they are all OK. Thanks for letting us know Pablog.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

We'z so glad yoo and yoor fambly is okay, Axel, and we purray fur all da aminals and beans dat haf been affected by dem terrible fires. Thanks fur haffing Axel tell his story, Pablo, yoor a good mancat.

Samantha and Mr. Tigger said...

Wow!! We are so glad Axel and his family made it through the fires!! That was a great reteliing, too!! Made you feel like you were right there! Thanks for sharing Pablo.
Your FL furiends,

Grrreta said...

That's an amazing story. We're so glad that Axel ad his family are okay. He has such a positive attitude after having been through so much.

MaoMao said...

Wow, Axel, thankies fur sharin this story. We are so glad that you and yur fambly are okeydokeys. We are purrin fur effuryone in Oz who has been affeckted by those awful fires.

Kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao!

catsynth said...

We are really thankful that none of our blogging cat friends were hurt in the fires. Thanks for sharing Axel's story, we're glad that he and his family are same, and that they were able to rescue as much as they could.

Axel and Manny said...

Hello everyone!!

Thank you to every kitty for leaving such loving and supporting comments- life is still far from normal, but having the purrs and prayers from so many helps.
Daddy went to the service in the big city today for the day of mourning, he says it wonderful to see so many important people making an effort to support the nation. And he says it was good to meet and chat to so many people who were effected so much more then us from the fires.

thank you again

Monica said...

Wow, I'm so glad that Axel and his whole family are okay. The pictures look really scary. His people are sure very smart to have stayed calm and defended their property.