Galena used all of her nine lives to survive the trip from Utah to California without food or water for six days (Carrie Clark)

A Utah couple accidentally shipped their pet cat in an Amazon return package, trapping it without food or water for six days. The story of Galena, the cat who defied the odds, was eventually discovered safe and well in California.

One of the cat's owners, Carrie Clark, noticed the pet had gone missing on April 10th. Clark, along with family and friends, searched the couple's house and neighbourhood for nearly a week and plastered missing posters around town, hoping to locate the cat.

"The anxiety and stress of not knowing what happened to her was excruciating," Clark told the outlet. It was the microchip that brought Galena back to her owners. Clark received a text notifying her that Galena's microchip had been scanned, and later that day, she received a call from a veterinarian in California.

The vet told Clark the cat was found inside an Amazon return package, alongside five pairs of steel-toed work boots. When Clark heard the news, she couldn't believe it at first. "I ran to tell my husband that Galena was found, and we were overwhelmed with joy and relief.

We broke down upon realizing that she must have jumped into an oversized box we shipped out the previous Wednesday," Clark said.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, people increasingly bought online instead of visiting brick-and-mortar stores. The shift brought a significant spike in online returns in 2021, which has continued to rise, eMarketer said.

The cat was rescued from the box six days after losing food or water by an Amazon employee who found her in a warehouse and took her to the vet. Clark and her husband then flew to California to be reunited with their cat.

"It was a heartwarming reunion! Galena, despite her ordeal, showed remarkable resilience. She instantly stopped shaking and relaxed in my arms when I got to hold her again," Clark shared.

"Despite being skinnier and mildly dehydrated, her bloodwork was completely normal, and she was completely unharmed!" Clark expressed her hope that this incident would remind all pet owners about the importance of microchipping their pets.

Microchipping is a simple and effective way to ensure lost pets are returned to their owners, regardless of how they got lost. It's also a good idea to keep a close eye on your pets, especially when packing to ship things out. Who knows where they might end up?