Cat Survives Trash Truck Compactor to Make His Way Home for the Holidays


When Sue Rosen of Vacaville, CA discovered that her beloved cat, Depot, went missing in October, she pulled out all the stops in trying to find him. Once he’d been gone for a month, she assumed the worst and started to come to grips with the knowledge that he wasn’t coming home.

But her three year old tabby later showed up more than 200 miles away at the Black Butte Transfer Station in Mount Shasta.

I do not know how on earth that cat survived, said Arthur Boyd, the Transfer Station worker who first caught a glimpse of Depot leaping from the back of a garbage truck.

Though he couldn’t figure out how the cat managed to circumvent the trucks compacting mechanism, Boyd said he was even more surprisedthe following Saturday, when the cat fell out of a load of garbage being piled onto a truck.

It took off running through the snow, Boyd said.

Boyd then decided to try to capture the skinny cat, especially once he saw that the tabby was wearing a collar.

The cat wanted to be caught, Boyd said. He stopped under a bush, and I picked him up.

The cat threw a weak hissy fit and barred his teeth, but Boyd was able to pick him up and carry him to his office.

From the information on the cats tag, Boyd learned the his name was Depot. He also found a serial number and an 800 number printed on the tag.

Calling the number, which connected him to a pet microchipping service, Boyd got contact information for Depots owner and left a message on her answering machine.

Boyd didnt really have a place at home to keep the cat, so he sequestered him in the bathroom and called the Siskiyou Humane Society.

Shelter manager Kim Latos (in photo at top) promptly picked up Depot. She scanned him, and was successful in finding a microchip. The information on the microchip matched the information on his collar.

Latos called the various contact numbers and was soon contacted by a joyous Rosen.

I have no idea how he got all the way to Mount Shasta, Rosen said, grateful that her cat survived so many brushes with death, the cold and the snow. She was surprised to hear that he was still wearing his snap-on safety collar, which is designed to come off if the cat gets snagged.

Rosen arranged to have a friend of a friend stop in Mount Shasta to pick Depot up on their way though from a trip to Oregon.

When she finally got Depot back home, she said her other cat, Eddison, heard him meowing from inside the crate.

[Eddison] immediately came over… he put his front leg around [Depot] and said meow, meow, meow to welcome him back.

Depot had lost nearly half his body weight during his walkabout.

Rosen explained shed realized Depot was gone on Oct. 19. I went out and the screen door wasnt latched. I was gone about an hour, and he must have slipped out.

Rosen said she was surprised Depot had ventured outside at all, since he was usually content to stay indoors.

After an evening of walking through her neighborhood calling for her pet, Rosen reported Depot missing to Home Again.

She did everything she could think of to find Depot, including putting up posters, visiting her local animal shelter and going door to door. She even consulted with several animal communicators in attempt to locate Depot.

Receiving calls from Boyd and Latos came as a complete shock, she said. I just couldnt believe it… its amazing.

Though Depots still adjusting to life back at home, Rosen said hes doing remarkably well. Shes had a veterinarian come to her home to give him a checkup, and Depot was even treated to acupuncture to calm his spirit and help the chi come back, Rosen said.

Rosen added that she and the people who picked Depot up for her were extremely impressed by the professionalism and commitment Latos and the Humane Society staff displayed. She also expressed surprise and gratitude that Boyd took the time to capture Depot and contact her.

Its a wonderful gift for the holidays, she said.

I am amazed he traveled all this way and in this weather survived all that he did, said Latos with tears in her eyes.

Boyd said hes amazed at Depots resilience. He spent a week here with heavy equipment and trucks, and he wasnt run over. He also wasnt hurt by the excavator… its pretty amazing. If that cat had nine lives, hes only got one left.

[SOURCE: Mount Shasta Herald]

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