The used couch that Vickie Mendenhall bought for $27 came with a furry surprise – a calico cat who’d hidden inside it for more than two weeks.
On Thursday afternoon, the feline was reunited with her overjoyed owner who saw a media report about the cat’s improbable saga.
Mendenhall, who bought the couch at Value Village for her new home on North Madison Street in Spokane, said she and the other residents had been hearing a faint meowing, but they could never find the source. Every time they searched for a cat, the sound stopped.
“We thought it was coming through the vents into the house,” said the 32-year-old mother, who happens to work in the cat room at SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. Her son, Tyler, 9, theorized the house was haunted by a cat.
Then, on Tuesday, Mendenhall’s boyfriend, Chris Lund, was watching TV and felt something move under him, inside the couch. He pulled the couch away from the wall, lifted it up and voila! There was the cat, who’d apparently crawled through a small hole. She was hungry and dehydrated.
Mendenhall called Value Village, but the staff there had no information about who’d donated the couch. She took the cat to SpokAnimal, so it could recover, and contacted media outlets in hope of finding the owner.
The strategy worked – Bob Killion, of Spokane, went to SpokAnimal to claim the cat after an acquaintance saw the story and alerted him. Killion had donated a couch Feb. 19, and 9-year-old cat Callie disappeared about the same time.
Killion, a retired Air Force master sergeant, said he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2001 and given a year and a half to live. He credits Callie, along with his other cat, Tiger, and his Pomeranian, Lola, for helping him through that difficult time.
Mendenhall said the cat seemed glad to be rescued. “When we got her out, she was giving me that look: ‘Thanks for getting me out of there.’ ”