It was a surprise ending a couple from Timmins never would have expected after their cat — who didn't like to go outdoors — went missing.
Three-and-a-half weeks after their beloved cat Stuffi went missing, Linda Jardine Mantha and her husband found her in the walls of their home.
And she was alive.
Stuffi went missing after the couple hired a contractor to replaced the air conditioner on their furnace. When they realized Stuffi was gone, they looked everywhere for her.
"We put hoses down the vent," Mantha recalled.
"My husband started taking apart the duct work of the furnace, thinking maybe she jumped up high enough in a hole of the duct work, [but we] couldn't see anything. So then we [though to try] a camera ... and still nothing."
The couple decided to search through their dropped ceiling in a last effort to find her — but to no avail.
The couple figured Stuffi had ventured outside. But it didn't make sense that she'd do so because she wasn't the kind of cat to go outdoors.
"We've had her for seven years and she's never gone near the door," Mantha said.
They put notices up on Facebook, offered a reward and regularly checked in with the local humane society.
But still, there was nothing.
A couple of weeks later, Mantha said she heard a little meow — a meow that sounded like a cat in heat.
She thought it was a cat outside, and her husband said it didn't sound like Stuffi.
"We accepted that she was gone, we mourned the loss of our pet."
But then, three-and-a-half weeks after she went missing, Mantha said she heard a small meow from what they refer to as "the cats' room."
She told her husband and he called a friend to help him cut open the wall so they could take a better look.
"He [shone] a flashlight ... and he saw [cat] hair," Mantha continued.
"And there she was, sure enough. My husband said, 'just rip it,'" and the drywall was taken down.
"The next thing I knew ... my husband was carrying Stuffi out," she said.
Mantha asked her husband if the cat was dead.
"She's breathing, she's breathing," he replied.
The couple rushed her to the vet, where staff members were surprised to see the feline — alive. They now refer to her as Stuffi the Miracle Mantha.
"She's a miracle," Mantha said, especially for a cat that "was never a meower. She never made a peep."
Perhaps Stuffi will make more noise in the future, particularly when one considers that being vocal is what saved her life.