British Columbia

This cat was found skinny and scared in a shipping container from China. Now she's ready for adoption

Journey, an orange female tabby cat, has come a long way since she was found inside a shipping container that had travelled all the way from Shenzhen, China to Prince George, B.C. last April. She now loves to play and is ready to be adopted after 10 months of being in the care of the B.C. SPCA.

'This is so rewarding to actually get to the point where she has built trust,' says SPCA manager

After 10 months of rehab, Journey doesn't seem to enjoy being petted but she loves to play. (Photo by B.C. SPCA)

Journey, an orange female tabby cat, has come a long way since she was found inside a shipping container that had travelled all the way from Shenzhen, China to Prince George, B.C., last April.

The six-year-old feline who used to be terrified of people, now loves to play and is ready to be adopted.

"She is the most playful little kitty I've ever lived with," said Karen van Haaften, senior manager of behaviour and welfare at the B.C. SPCA, and Journey's foster parent.

This is a big change from when the cat was first discovered by staff at a Prince George auto glass distribution company 10 months ago.

The six-year-old cat was trapped inside a 12-metre shipping container for weeks as it travelled from Shenzhen, China to Vancouver and then to Prince George, B.C. (Photo by B.C. SPCA)

As they were unpacking crates from inside a container that had travelled for more than three weeks from China to the Port of Vancouver and then to Prince George, an emaciated and fearful Journey was found inside among pallets, shredded cardboard and foam pellets. 

Staff at the B.C. SPCA believe that Journey was able to survive by licking condensation that had formed on the walls of the shipping container.

"It was pretty touch and go about whether or not she could actually survive the starvation," said van Haaften.

After receiving immediate medical attention through the North Cariboo District Branch of the B.C. SPCA, Journey was moved to the branch at Maple Ridge for further care.

'We knew she was going to require some pretty serious behavior rehab before she could find a home,' said van Haaften. (Photo by B.C. SPCA)

However, staff at the SPCA quickly discovered she would freeze up when handled by humans and was very uncomfortable around other animals.

"We knew she was going to require some pretty serious behaviour rehab before she could find a home," said van Haaften, who suspects that Journey was a feral cat in China.

"l felt really sorry for her in our shelter. She had a really hard time being in that much contact with so many unfamiliar people."

So, the board-certified veterinary behaviourist decided to bring her home to her Vancouver apartment to foster her. 

Playful side

"With most cats, especially cats that come from a background of being starved, we win their hearts with food."

It took Journey a long time to build trust with van Haaften, but her playful side quickly emerged.

"It was this one particular wand toy that she's going to be adopted with, that she just could not resist. She had a little wiggle and everything, it was adorable," she said.

Journey doesn't appear to enjoy being petted, but she does like to be near humans.

"This is so rewarding to actually get to the point where she has built trust and she can actually enjoy time with people," said van Haaften, who can't keep Journey because she doesn't get along with her other cat.

Adoption

Journey is now up for adoption through the B.C. SPCA website. They are looking for a quiet, adult-only home for her with no other pets.

Van Haaften is still hopeful that with time, Journey will enjoy physical attention from people.

"I am excited for her journey to be over and for her to be somewhere where she can just be safe and happy."

With files from Radio West

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