Journey the orange tabby has made great strides after she was found emaciated and terrified inside a shipping container from China, the BC SPCA reports.
Journey, about six years old, was discovered among pallets and shredded cardboard inside a shipping container in Prince George last April. According to the BC SPCA, the container had left the city of Shenzhen three weeks earlier.
The cat weighed only about 1.5 kilograms and likely survived by licking condensation off the container walls.
In an update Tuesday, the organization said after a lot of hard work, Journey is now well on her way to a life of cat naps and pushing objects off tables.
“For a long time, she froze in terror every time she saw a human. We didn’t think we’d be able to save this anguished little cat,” Rachel Gant with the BC SPCA said in a news release. “I can’t think of anything harder for an animal to overcome than terror.”
Shortly after she was found, Journey was placed in isolation at the SPCA in Prince George where veterinarians and volunteers worked to treat her liver disease and extreme emaciation. As Journey got better, she was transferred to the SPCA’s Maple Ridge branch for further care.
Then came the more difficult feat: teaching the terrified animal to trust people again.
“Her will to live had impressed everyone, but her distrust was equally strong,” the BC SPCA said in a video about the rehabilitation.
Vancouver-based veterinarian behaviourist Dr. Karen van Haaften took her home to ensure she received ‘round-the-clock care.
Slowly but surely, Journey started to take food from human hands. She became more curious, perching on the rafters at the local branch and climbing around her room. She was eventually placed into foster care.
“This little girl is becoming braver and is more willing to show her personality around people,” van Haaften said in a news release. “She is very playful and will play with wand toys in the open now.”
Now, the organization said Journey will need a few more months in her foster home before she’s ready to be adopted, and will provide an update when the time comes for interested owners to submit an application.