Last Friday, Jackie Lake experienced a realization that no pet owner wants to make. Your beloved cat, Baloo, was missing.
Lake and her family spent the entire weekend scouring the neighborhood. They patrolled the nearby woods, peeped under the deck, and knocked on dozens of doors. There was no sign of the cat.
"It was a horrible feeling," Lake told CTV Atlantic.
That feeling lasted until Monday, when Lake received an unusual call. It was a woman calling from Purolator in Montreal.
"She paused and said," So you did not send a cat? "Lake remembered.
That's when the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together. Lake recently packed several boxes full of car tire rims. She recorded the boxes and dispatched them via Purolator to a friend in Calgary.
"My first question was, is he alive? Like, did I kill my cat? "She said.
No, Baloo was alive and well. The Purolator employee told her that a truck driver found the cat in the back of his vehicle. Baloo somehow escaped the box.
Lake says her cat must have managed to sneak into the box while she was not looking, probably through a small opening at the top, and nestled in the hole in the edge.
"So he was not at the top, he had come through the hole from the edge to the bottom of the box," she said.
As soon as Baloo was found, the transportation company contacted the SPCA of Montreal, who recovered the cat.
"We were extremely relieved by the fact that Balloo left OK in Montreal, that he survived the trip," said SPCA spokesman Anita Kapuscinska.
Baloo, who is perfectly healthy, is now on his way home thanks to Freedom Drivers, a volunteer-led organization that runs pets that need travel.
Lake said she is relieved to have her cat back in time for vacation. But she does not expect her to hear the end of it anytime soon.
"I'll never live it," she said.