CACHE CREEK, B.C.: Sept. 5, 2017 ó Ester Spye thought her 17-year-old cat Socks had died in the Ashcroft Reserve wildfire, which destroyed her home on the reserve on July 7. However, after being missing for 52 days the cat turned up at her niece's house. This photos shows Spye and Socks in her Cache Creek motel room. (Submitted/Sharla DuBroy) [PNG Merlin Archive]

The last time Ester Spye saw her cat Socks before being forced to evacuate, she was trying to coax him from his hiding place under her bed as an out-of-control wildfire approached her house.
“He wouldn’t come out,” she said. “Everyone was screaming at me to go.”
So, Spye hurried toward the pickup that would drive her to safety, taking her dog Sweets and leaving the door open to give Socks a chance to escape. She was convinced that Socks, her companion for 17 years, had died in the fire that consumed her house on the Ashcroft Band reserve on July 7.
“That’s what really hurt my heart, where I had to leave home without my cat,” she said Wednesday from a motel in Cache Creek.
But last week she got a call from her niece, Shirley Wilson, who was also her neighbour.
Wilson and her sister were sitting in her house, which had been …