When she lost her apartment in a fire on Jan. 26, Ashley Christiansen lost more than her home and possessions. She lost a piece of her family: Her 3-year-old tabby cat, Tater.
Christiansen said she misses Tater, or Tate for short, "more than I could ever explain."
"I don't have a home anymore, so having him would give me a sense of home," she said. "He was my family for two years."
The fire ravaged Christiansen's apartment at 222 E. Walnut St. in the early morning hours of Jan. 26; its contents were destroyed.
What's kept her going through the loss of her home, her possessions, and now her cat, she said, is knowing that Tater made it out of the building.
"We were able to go up into my apartment and search the whole thing," she said. Christiansen said she's confident that Tater made it out of the building alive.
Christiansen has been doing everything she can to search for Tater. She's set up trail cams in the area of her old apartment, which she checks regularly. She's set out food and a jacket with her scent on it. She's also tried live traps, but had no luck.
She's put up five or six posts on social media, she said, and regularly checks comments on those and with each humane society and shelter in the area.
The situation has been complicated by the fact that her apartment was destroyed in the fire, along with most of Christiansen's and Tater's possessions.
"They say put out the litter box, put out their toys, and I don't have any of those," Christiansen said.
That setback has not stopped Christiansen from looking for her cat.
"He was my little buddy, and I'm a very anxious person, so he helped a lot with that," she said. "Our bond is really good, so it makes me sad to know as much as I'm looking for him, he's probably looking for me."
Christiansen said she's not the only one who misses Tater.
"He's missed by my whole family, and all my friends that have come to really adore him," she said.
Christiansen's not the only one on the lookout for Tater.
Many people have been supportive, sharing her posts and sending her messages of possible sightings, she said. She's shared information online and put up posters all over town, doing everything she can to get the word out.
He is a gray tabby cat. He's neutered but because it was done at an early age, she said, it's hard to tell. He may be skittish without her.
She's asking anyone who might have seen Tater to send her a photo if possible, and call or text her at 715-220-6211.