Stowaway cat lands in thrift store

CUMMING, Ga. — The folks who recently gave a sofa to a thrift store in downtown Cumming, Georgia, might have donated more than they planned.

A gray tabby cat was apparently hidden in the pillows when the sofa arrived at the No Longer Bound Thrift Store.

It’s the first time that manager Terri Benning has seen such an item among the donations.

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“People have given away things they did not intend to — a particular pair of pants or grandma’s quilt — but never a cat,” she said. “Nothing live.”

At first the store’s employees were unaware of the cat’s arrival. The store received a call about five weeks ago from a donor that said their cat might have hitch-hiked in on a couch. But no cat was evident. And, unfortunately, the store employees didn’t take down any information from the caller. (The store receives about 15-20 sofas a week.)

Then the shop’s motion-sensor alarm began going off at night, prompting visits from the Cumming police, who never found any evidence of foul play.

One evening, after closing time, Benning was watching a security camera when a cat walked across the screen. “She was on her way to the men’s room.”

For a while the cat remained at large inside the store, evading a humane trap and avoiding people. “She was a smart thing,” said employee Crystal Streetman. Streetman finally coaxed the feline out of hiding, grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and took her home.

The store has posted messages Craig's List, but has received no replies. The cat has no collar and is not chipped. She was extremely thin, but is plumping up now that she's getting regular meals.

The thrift store benefits a residential 12-month program called No Longer Bound that helps men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Streetman has nicknamed the young tabby “Bound.” Bound doesn’t interact well with Otis and Molly, Streetman’s own cats, and so she hopes that one day Bound will be Homeward Bound.