A group of employees at a San Francisco fire station say they are devastated after their beloved "fire cat" was kicked out of their office by the administration.
Edna the "fire cat" first came to Station 49 as a feral kitten four years ago, employees told SFGate. Staffers at the department's Ambulance Deployment Facility, which is housed in Station 49, began to care for her.
Soon, the cat became a part of their "family," they said.
"We take her to the vet now, give her treats and she calls our station home now," employees said in an email to the newspaper. "As I'm sure you can imagine, our jobs are very, very stressful. A lot of us see Edna as our little stress unit."
However, the department recently received an anonymous complaint about Edna's presence at Station 49.
In a statement, the department's spokesperson said since the facility contains "medical supplies, equipment and pharmaceuticals," the department concluded that "having the cat in the facility compromised the sterility" of the equipment.
The spokesperson also said the department was worried about "the animal’s own safety and well-being."
Staffers, who found out Edna would be kicked out on Monday, launched a campaign to keep their kitty.
In addition to contacting the SFGate, they began a social media campaign using the hashtag #ednastays on Edna's Instagram, which has been active since June 2018.
Many people on social media rallied around Edna and her humans, pleading with the department to change its mind.
They even got support from other fire house cats.
"We here at Station 57 very much believe in the symbiotic relationship between cats and their caretakers in nontraditional homes and would greatly appreciate any assistance in expanding these relationships."
However, despite all the pleas, Edna was taken away from the station on Monday. The department said she was being adopted by a person at the facility as a pet.
Edna's Instagram shared a photo of her leaving the station on Monday.
"She has somewhere to go now but it just sucks to uproot a once feral cat from her home of five years, and one that she could come and go as she pleased, but chose to stay with unlimited 24/7 loving from 200+ amazing EMS members," the Instagram read. "All this over an 'anonymous' complaint that was made with malicious intent."
The department said in its statement it is planning to coordinate a "pet adoption day specifically for First Responders" for those interested in adopting a pet to cope with stress.