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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Thrift Store Gets Shock Surprise After Accidental Donation, 'Frantic' Search Ensues

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Plenty of people donate their old belongings to thrift stores, hoping to give their former items a second life and benefit a good cause at the same time.

But sometimes, unintended “bonuses” sneak in. Sometimes forgotten stashes of cash show up, sometimes it’s family heirlooms that were unknowingly placed in the donation box.

This time, it was a cat.

A family in Denver, Colorado, was moving, so they took their old recliner to the Denver Arc Thrift Store on Dec. 30 — not knowing that the old piece of furniture held a stowaway.

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“Denver Animal Protection got a call on New Year’s Eve from a Denver Arc Thrift Store that someone had just dropped off a piece of furniture for donation and they found a cat stuck inside,” city officials said, according to KCNC-TV.

An animal control officer arrived on the scene a short while later and was able to coax the orange tabby out of the recliner. The cat was “very friendly,” but when it was scanned for a microchip, animal control was unable to get ahold of the owners because the information had not been updated.

But that turned out not to be an issue, as the worried owners, unable to find their cat Mantequlla in their nearly empty house, realized what must have happened and reached out, sick with worry.

“They said they were in the middle of moving and had donated a recliner to the thrift store without realizing their cat, Mantequilla, had climbed up underneath (likely from the stress of all the moving going on at the house),” city officials stated.

“They were so happy to have found him.”

Recliners are well-known as terribly comfortable chairs, but they’re also notorious death traps for many house pets. Curious creatures like cats and ferrets have been known to scamper inside, hide, and then be crushed when someone sits down and operates the lever.

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Thankfully Mantequilla was fine and reunited with the family. The Denver Animal Shelter shared his story as well, along with photos of the hilariously pitiful-looking cat.

“Mantequilla’s family donated a recliner to the thrift store when they were moving,” the shelter shared. “They didn’t realize that their cat was hiding inside the recliner.

“We are so happy for the ending to this story and are thankful to everyone involved in getting this sweet cat home safely.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking