Cupcake’s ordeal sounds like it’s right out of a chapter from the Official Big Book of Cat Shenanigans. This Siamese kitty managed to get herself mailed across the United Kingdom after she became trapped inside a cardboard box containing some DVDs.
Her journey took eight days.
Since arriving safely at her destination, she’s become something of a superstar cat online — although there are a number of serious issues about cat owner responsibility that her case brings up.
According to an account on the BBC’s website, Cupcake was an indoor cat living at a home in Cornwall. As her owner, Julie Baggott, was packaging up a cardboard box of DVDs to mail to another person, Cupcake apparently managed to hop into the box and become part of the cargo.
Eight days later, she turned up at an address in West Sussex — which is 250 miles away.
During that time, Cupcake’s family were said to have been frantically “looking everywhere” for her. A local campaign to find the missing cat was also set up. At that time, it was assumed that Cupcake had managed to sneak outside and was lost somewhere nearby.
Thankfully, the person who received the box of DVDs (that were presumably by now covered in bonus cat hair and possibly pee), took Cupcake to a local RSPCA office, who in turn passed her on to the folks at the Grove Lodge Veterinary facility.
Cupcake was scanned for a microchip — which revealed her up-to-date information. Her owners were tracked down and plans were made to reunite her.
“The serious side of this incredible journey is that poor Cupcake was extremely dehydrated and has required intensive treatment to ensure she recovers fully,” reads an update on the vet’s website.
“However, she seems quite relaxed and unconcerned and is sitting in her kennel in our cat ward waiting for her family.”
Talking to the BBC, Cupcake’s owner said, “I feel terrible about what’s happened, because I put everything in the box and sealed it straight away, so I don’t know how she managed to get in there.”
She also added that it was a “pretty big box.”
Well, yes, perhaps Cupcake’s owner should feel pretty terrible about what she put her cat through.
While we should all be glad that Cupcake was returned home in a safe-but-shook-up condition, the more I think about her story, the more it verges on negligence.
Any self-respecting cat owner knows that cats love cardboard boxes. If a corrugated container of any shape or form enters a cat’s home, he will drop whatever he’s doing and hone in on it. When I’ve packaged stuff up on the kitchen table, Mimosa, my cat, attempts to get in the way and, ultimately, inside the package.
How is it possible to not realize you have packaged up your cat?
Beyond the meows and scratches and, you know, movement that will occur once you tape a cat up in a box, there’s also the fact that a box with only some DVDs in it is going to weigh at least — ooh! — 10 pounds less than a box with a grown cat in it.
Was there really no movement or noise from inside the box that occurred between packaging up poor old Cupcake and processing her as a domestic parcel at the post office? (On that note, taking eight days to deliver some DVDs should warrant an investigation in itself.)
Still, I guess the larger lesson to be learned is to always make sure your cat is properly microchipped. Without that, Cupcake would probably be at a shelter looking for a new family (or, perhaps, getting closer to a far more permanent fate).
And on that note, I’ll be off to double-check Mimosa’s records and make sure that she’s fully chipped up — and then reward her with a new cardboard box.