Isn't it ironic how we all have a connection to the world around us? My sister Pat lives in Houston. When I saw Hurricane Harvey's approach on TV I immediately called her. To my joy she informed me they were up in Iowa at her son's home to see her grandson on his first day of school. I thought to myself that is wonderful they are safe and far away from danger.
To my dismay she informed they would be heading back to Houston the next day. I asked why she would do such a thing. Well they left their cats alone with food and water, but it was on the lower level and was afraid if the water did come into the house the cats would not be able to get to the food. She mentioned she could call their neighbor and have him move the food and water upstairs. Little did she know that is exactly what she should have done, but sadly her worry over them caused them to drive back to Houston.
They made it home before the brunt of Harvey hit to find their home fine with water just up to the curb. They dug out the sandbags and placed them up in front of the front door where when there have been floods in past was as far as the water got. They started to move furniture upstairs but before they could get much moved water began to seep into the house. Within an hour the water was ten inches deep in the living room. They continued moving stuff but then all hell broke loose.
My sister actually lives in Conroe. Lake Conroe has a damn and the heavy rain was taking its toll on the damn. The civil engineers were forced to release water from the damn onto the flood plain which is where my sister’s subdivision was located. This was not such an uncommon occurrence but hadn't ever come up much further than the front door.
I had talked to Pat around 10:00 in the morning. That was when the water was at the ten inch level. She assured everything was all right and they were just riding it out.
By mid afternoon water was coming in through the walls and was chest deep. Brand new furniture that had never even been sat on was floating like a raft adrift upon a lake. Within a couple of hours the water had risen to the landing of the upstairs steps. Water had forced the front door open and the water gushed through like damn gates being opened up. It was time to evacuate.
An airboat came to their rescue. Its operator had to hold on to the eve spouts to keep it close enough to the house for them to get on. Pat's beloved cats were left behind to fend for themselves because the boat driver would not allow them to take the felines. Pat hoped if the water reached the upstairs level the cats would go to the attic.
The boat carried them to one of the many shelters and dropped them off. They weren't there long when their neighbor, Chuck, who had not yet evacuated, called and told them their house was going up in flames.
The fact that they were loosing so much to the flood, loosing everything else to fire sealed the fate. What an ironic dilemma, flood on the first floor and fire in the up stairs. “I could come to terms with loosing the house. Except for loosing precious things that were all part of our history, my cats, my poor cats didn't stand a chance and for that I am heartsick.”
I hurt for them, for flood waters assaulting their home and then of all things a fire breaking out in the upstairs. I knew how much those cats meant to her. Pat had had a couple of rough years and those cats were her salvation to sanity. I felt the loss and knowing there was nothing I could do about it.
My sister Linda and I received the original news via text message. We tried calling them but got no answer. They went straight to voice mail. We had no way of knowing how they were, or where they were and know idea how we would get the message.
Much later my sister Linda received a text message from Pat’s husband Jerry that a friend of theirs