BY CRYSTAL A. PROXMIRE
Farmington Hills – Although their home was completely destroyed by fire Sunday, a Farmington Hills couple is asking for donations to go not to themselves but to the Ferndale Cat Shelter in honor of the two Guinness Record-breaking cats that were lost in the fire.
Will and Lauren Powers have been on top of the world the past few weeks after being able to announce that their cats, Arcturus and Cygnus, would be famous.
Arcturus won for the world’s tallest cat, standing 20.1 inches tall. Cygnus won for his tail of 17.5 inches. They also had another feline named Sirrius who did not hold any world records, but did hold a place in the couple’s hearts.
The fire, in the 34000 block of Quaker Valley Lane, is still under investigation.
Farmington Hills Fire Chief Jon Unruh told The Detroit Free Press the blaze is under investigation, but added that no foul play seemed to be involved.
Unruh explained in the report that his crew was met with the challenge of extinguishing the fire with no hydrant in the immediate area. A tanker truck from the Village of Franklin helped. Unruh said there was a 10-minute delay between the time the fire started and the 911 call.
Both Will and Lauren work in the medical profession, with Will specializing in caring for transgender individuals. He often speaks about transgender healthcare and is an advocate for equality.
Will posted on Facebook, “It’s becoming public news and so I will share that we had a house fire today. I awoke to alarms and was already far too late. I tried to save the cats but couldn’t find them before I was overcome with smoke. We are nearly sure all perished. I did manage to open a few doors in hope they would run out so if anyone in the Farmington area finds a cat matching their description please notify us. We have lost literally everything. The house is gone. We survived with the clothes on our backs. We have no other possessions right now but honestly nothing mattered but the cats. The Red Cross is helping and we have clothes and food and a place to sleep and so thank you for the outpouring of offers but we are okay.”
The Powers’ family cats – Arcturus, Cygnus and Sirius
The Powers’ had recently moved to Farmington Hills from Ferndale, and they kept their passion for the Ferndale Cat Shelter, often encouraging people to donate.
“Lauren and I will recover from this. I’m at a Meijer buying clothes as I don’t have any anymore. We have had an outpouring of support. But we can’t have our cats back,” Will said. “Those cats had a future of TV appearances and fundraisers to support the Ferndale Cat Shelter. In lieu of any support to us, please donate in their name to the Ferndale cat shelter. If you want to do anything to help us, do that. I cared about that more than anything, and so did they. If the death of Cygnus, Arcturus, and Sirius isn’t meaningless and can help another family love their cats like we loved ours then this tragedy can have something good come from it.”
The Powers family on the Pickler & Ben Show
Their plea has already raised over $3,200 for the shelter. The Ferndale Cat Shelter provides medical care, adoption services, fostering and trap-neuter-release programs for felines in the Ferndale Area. They also manage the Catfe Lounge at 821 Livernois in Ferndale, where people can play with cats and check out those available for adoption.
Arcturus shows off his height in the Powers’ family kitchen