An Illinois family has been reunited with their cat after the resilient feline survived six weeks trapped in a box spring that was wrapped in heavy-duty plastic for shipping.
The Gaines family was moving from Fresno, Calif. to Charleston, Ill. and was packing up, with movers picking up their furniture and belongings on Sept. 22. The family’s cat, Sadie, went missing and the family thought the worst.
“She’s outside a lot during the day. She always comes in the house at night, but she didn’t show up, and it’s common for the coyotes to get the pets,” Mike Gaines told WCIA, a local CBS affiliate. “So, we figured she got taken by a coyote because she always comes home.”
Instead, Sadie was likely spooked by the commotion, the strange people in her home and the stress of seeing her familiar life upended, and found a way to burrow inside the box spring to hide.
In normal times Sadie’s ordeal would have lasted a few days, maybe a week tops, but because transportation companies are hurting for truck drivers, the Gaines’ furniture was put in a storage unit in Sacramento until it could be moved cross country.
“So, it sat there from September 22nd to November 3rd. So, several weeks with Sadie, the wonder cat locked in the box springs,” Mike Gaines said. “No food, no water, no sunlight, no nothing.”
On Nov. 7 the Gaines’ furniture arrived, and after more than 46 days Sadie was freed when Gaines’ daughter found her.
“She hollered dad, there’s something dead in the box springs it stinks,” Gaines said. “So, I came down here, and on my way down the stairs she said there’s a rat in there. She just saw her little ears and thought it was rat, but it wasn’t. I came down and looked in there and it was Sadie. She was sitting there looking up at me.”
The little survivor lost a whopping seven pounds, which is a huge deal for a cat. Most domestic house cats weigh about 10 pounds. Gaines said she went limp in his hands when he lifted her out of the box spring, and endured a vet visit. The veterinarian said the silver tabby was lucky to be alive, and didn’t suffer any injuries or ailments aside from obvious malnutrition and dehydration. It’s not clear if there were any perforations in the plastic around the box spring. Perhaps little Sadie caught herself a mouse or two to tide her over.
I think I’ll show this to Bud the next time he puts on a Shakespearean performance while trying to convince me he’s starving after two hours without a meal, although with the way he shrieks for food and yaps constantly, it’s difficult to imagine he’d get trapped in a piece of furniture without the entire block knowing about it.