Like many San Franciscans, Edna was on the hunt for affordable housing in an increasingly unaffordable city. Last month, she was finally evicted from her home of five years in the Bayview, Firehouse Station #49.
Edna is a formerly feral cat whom the firefighters had adopted and affectionately made an Instagram account for under the handle @Fire_Cat_Edna.
According to statements former EMT Michelle Estrada made to SF Weekly, Edna earned her keep by tracking rodents in the building, even once fighting off a raccoon that somehow managed to get into the building.
However, after an anonymous complaint in early February, the Fire Commission told the station they had to get rid of Edna due to rules concerning sterility of medical equipment and animal safety.
In response, a campaign was launched on social media under the hashtag "Edna Stays." It received thousands of "likes" but ultimately failed when only 7 people showed up in person to give public comment in favor of Edna's staying on at Station 49, according to the Chronicle. "All this over an 'anonymous' complaint that was made with malicious intent," wrote one of the firefighters on Edna's Instagram.
Attempts by SFist to reach the SFFD and Firehouse Station #49 were unsuccessful.
A statement emailed by the SFFD on February 11 reported that Edna had been removed as of that week, and added "The Department has maintained a Policy Prohibiting Animals on Department Property for more than 20 years."
The statement also says that the policy was put in place partly for the animals' own safety "given onsite activities that routinely involve large apparatus and machinery operating under emergency conditions."
But the story doesn't end sadly! According to SF Weekly, she went home with one of the firefighters. "She has somewhere to go now but it just sucks to uproot a once-feral cat from her home of five years," said the firefighters in a farewell Instagram post.
Edna's Instagram presence shall remain, though the station house did note angrily today that the city is spending money now to "disinfect" the firehouse floors now that Edna is gone. "They never even touched one of the main areas where Edna ate and there are places above the floor," they write. "Never mind the forklift, car, vans, ambulances, dumpsters, and the almost always open roll up doors in the 'sterile' environment. We will now return to posting Edna pictures ✌."