(PET RESCUE) CANADA – Read how one rambunctious kitten went on the adventure of a lifetime when the cat was stowed away on a trip from China to Canada – and survived. – Global Animal

Calgary Herald, Joe Fries

CALGARY — A stowaway who spent as many as 45 days locked in a shipping container imported from China greeted her Calgary rescuers with the universal word for thanks: “meow.”

Staff members at an exotic stone import business were met with the furry surprise Thursday when they discovered the severely malnourished calico kitten tucked away with an order of granite slabs.

Amy Bindman, an interior designer at ICON Stone and Tile, said orders from China typically take 30 to 45 days to arrive in Calgary, and she’s at a loss to explain how the kitty, since named Mandarin, survived the journey in the steel container with nothing but granite slabs and wood bracing.

Bindman said the cat, whose coat features patches of black, white and orange, was “pretty distressed and very, very thin.” And judging by its pathetic greeting, “had been meowing for weeks.

“We had to empty the entire container before being able to reach the cat, because (she) jumped and hid in a corner that was unreachable,” Bindman added.

Mandarin is currently in the care of the Calgary Humane Society.

Spokeswoman Desiree Arsenault said the kitten, estimated to be just six months old, weighed 900 grams when it arrived at the shelter, about half the normal weight for a cat that age.

Arsenault confirmed that the kitty’s tale of survival, which combined an unorthodox method of travel without any apparent source of food or water, is “extremely unusual.”

“There may have been mice or things running round the enclosure . . . I can only guess,” Arsenault offered.

Mandarin will spend the next few days in quarantine while veterinarians run blood tests to screen her for diseases, and will decide afterward what treatments or vaccinations the feline may need.

Staff at the humane society are feeding the cat liquid food delivered by needle under her skin, just in case her stomach can’t handle the real thing yet.

The kitty seems to be doing OK, Arsenault said, and was friendly with staff, though it will likely be “quite some time” before Mandarin is fit enough to go home.