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SF fire station says they are being asked to get rid of their cat, Edna. But they want her to stay.

SF Gate logo SF Gate 2/10/2019 Dianne de Guzman, SFGATE

a cat that is looking at the camera: The employees at San Francisco Fire Department Station 49 say they are being asked to get rid of their cat, Edna, after an anonymous complaint was made. Those at Station 49 argue that the cat is a stress reliever, and have launched a social media campaign dubbed #ednastays in hopes that Edna will be allowed at the station.

The employees at San Francisco Fire Department Station 49 say they are being asked to get rid of their cat, Edna, after an anonymous complaint was made. Those at Station 49 argue that the cat is a stress reliever, and have launched a social media campaign dubbed #ednastays in hopes that Edna will be allowed at the station.

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Firefighters and staff at a San Francisco fire station are trying everything they can to keep their pet cat, Edna, after management has apparently asked them to get rid of the feline.

Employees at Station 49 on Evans Avenue in Bayshore said in an email to SFGATE that an anonymous complaint was lodged with the city over the presence of Edna. They were told to "get rid of the cat" last week, according to the email, and were given a Monday deadline before animal control was called.

Edna became a part of station life four years ago, when she first began visiting Station 49 as a feral cat. From there, the email went on to explain, she grew to become a part of their group.

"We slowly started to show her love and care, and she [became] our family," the email reads. "Now she is always there, and is the most docile, loving baby.

"We take her to the vet now, give her treats and she calls our station home now," the letter continued. "As I'm sure you can imagine, our jobs are very, very stressful. A lot of us see Edna as our little stress unit."

The email was signed from Edna.

Workers have been sharing photos of Edna via the Instagram account, @fire_cat_edna since July 2018, and are now asking users of the platform for help, using the hashtag #ednastays. Many of the photos show firefighters and staff alike cuddling and petting the station house kitty.

Sharing the social media handles for the fire department's various accounts, as well as the email address for the administration, the group hopes they'll get enough support to convince management to allow Edna to stay.

"We have just been asking people to make some noise so we can put up a decent fight to keep one of our valued members," the email to SFGATE stated.

Many of those who saw Station 49's pleas via social media responded with astonishment over the station being asked to part with Edna. The station's dilemma was also reshared by others, including New York City fire station cat and social media darling, @station57cat, who has a following of over 38,000.

"When I have a bad day, coming home to my pets is the best thing I could ask for," wrote one commenter. "With ... all the firefighting and emergency runs, I would think the higher ups would realize how valuable the kitty is to these brave people. There's nothing more relaxing than a kitty in your lap purring."

"It is a proven fact cats provide companionship to those who save the public, but are a release of stress the firefighters and EMTs need after losing a human in a fire or accident," read another comment. "The stress that happens in the human body is real bad and a cat will love on them and provide the stress releasing [hormones] to keep them strong and healthy.

"I for one protest their plans of eviction of Edna unless of course they would like to rub the firefighters and EMT's shoulders and chase the rats and mice that inhibit the station themselves," the commenter continued.

"That Chief needs to sit back and analyze how detrimental this is going to be for morale," wrote another commenter. "These people work so hard everyday. They deserve to at least have a harmless cat at the station."

SFGATE reached out to the San Francisco Fire Department and will update should we hear back.

Read Dianne de Guzman's latest stories and send her news tips at ddeguzman@sfchronicle.com.

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