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Cupcake in a Box

Siamese cats are intelligent and inquisitive - which can get them in trouble!
Kristina Havlovic
Siamese cats are intelligent and inquisitive - which can get them in trouble!

Of the dozen or so cats we have had over the years, we have noticed some common behavior.  For example, most of our cats like to hide in a box or a paper sack.  They hunker down and wait for a cat or dog or human to go past so they can jump out and attack.  Usually the attack is more like “tag – gotcha” before they scamper away in victory.  But six years ago, for one cat in Cornwall, England, the love of hiding in boxes almost cost her life. 

     Cupcake, a small Siamese cat, crawled into a box filled with DVDs.  Her owner had no idea Cupcake was in the box when she sealed it, and shipped it by mail to an address 250 miles away.

     Later she and her family realized their cat was missing; they searched frantically and posted flyers in their neighborhood, but no one called. 

     Eight days later, the recipient of the box opened it to find a very confused cat inside.  The cat was taken to the Royal SPCA where they scanned her and found a microchip.  The veterinarian who treated her said Cupcake was scared, dehydrated, and weak.  She had gone for eight days with no food or water.  They immediately started giving her fluids, and very small amounts of food to prevent what’s called “refeeding syndrome”, a potentially fatal metabolic disturbance that can result from taking in too much food too fast after a period of starvation.

     Thanks to the dedicated folks at the RSPCA and the caring recipient of the DVDs – and her microchip – Cupcake made it back home where she belonged.  And there are no reports of her ever being shipped anywhere again.

     Yes, Cupcake’s owner made a mistake when she left the box unattended so her cat could find its way inside, but she also did something right – she microchipped her furry little buddy, making sure she would find her way home again, even if they had to go 250 miles to get her – and well worth the trip, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.