A Johnston County family lost everything in a fire last month. Julie Dale says her family is still trying to pick up the pieces. They are desperately trying to find their beloved cat, Fat Fat, who was last seen the day of the blaze.
On December 28, 2020, an afternoon fire destroyed the Dale home in the 2600 block of Highway 96 South of Four Oaks. The dwelling consisted of two singlewide mobile homes that had been placed together. It was home to six adults, all with some type of disability, she said.
Julie believes a water leak in a wall combined with old electrical wiring near the HVAC unit sparked the blaze. She ran out of the home without any shoes. The clothes on her back was all she had left. After the fire, all six adults had clothes donated to them.
The family has been staying in a local motel and are currently searching for a place to rent. They are also searching daily around the burned out shell of their former home for Fat Fat.
“Fat Fat is four years old and is a black and white tuxedo,” Julie said. “He is an inside cat. He has never been outside. Well, he did go outside once but came right back in. He’s very smart. He puts away his own toys. And he is a good judge of character. He isn’t a people person. The last time I saw Fat Fat, he was running out the back door and I was running out the front door (the day of the fire).”
Julie said finding Fat Fat would help give her family a much needed emotional boost. She asks anyone who lives in the Highway 96 South area near Thompson Road to be on the lookout for Fat Fat.
“I guess you can call me the crazy cat lady. I believe he is traumatized. I believe Fat Fat ran until he couldn’t run anymore and lost his bearings and can’t get back to us.”
Anyone with information about Fat Fat is asked to contact Julie Dale at 919-756-0232. (She requested we share her phone number with the public.)
“He is my baby. I want my baby back.”