Feline survives shipping mistake

WOODSTOCK – Cody the cat was homeward bound Thursday afternoon after he accidentally flew from Dallas to Woodstock this week in a UPS box.

His owner, Marie Webster, runs Texas-based Chiro Design Group, which supplies materials to chiropractic offices. She was taping up a box about twice the size of a microwave at her office Monday when Cody crept inside.

“We arranged the foam and then we walked off [to] find a label... so I’m thinking he must have gotten in there then,” she said. “I’m sure he was completely panicked.”

Webster and her 9-year-old daughter, Natalie Bennett, searched frantically for Cody for the next couple of days.

Then, on Wednesday, Brett St. Aubin, clinic director of Chiro One Wellness Centers of Woodstock, received the package expecting to find home traction units, which help patients with neck problems.

“We opened it up and we found cat hair on the merchandise,” the chiropractor said. “And [then] I saw the cat. I quickly closed the box back up.”

Cody, 2, wasn’t wearing his collar, which had come off in his travels, so it took a few minutes for St. Aubin and his staff to figure things out. Eventually though, they pulled him out and started petting him.

“He was in shock, but well-behaved,” St. Aubin said, adding that he called Webster as soon as he found the collar.

“He said ‘Are you the owner of Cody the cat?’ I said ‘Yes I am,’” Webster said. “I started screaming. He said ‘We’re in Illinois.’ I’m like ‘What?’”

After getting everyone up to speed, the two started figuring out how to get Cody back to Texas. St. Aubin also took him to the nearby Animal Hospital of Woodstock, where he was given a relatively clean bill of health.

“He was just a little bit in shock,” said Brenda Brown, certified veterinary technician at the hospital. “We actually kept him here overnight and he was eating and drinking normally. He definitely appeared to be in good spirits.”

On Thursday, a courier picked Cody up from Woodstock, took him to O’Hare International Airport, and placed him on a flight home – but not before St. Aubin named him “Patient of the Month.”

“Everybody was just outstanding in helping me get this cat back,” Webster said, adding that she’s still not sure how shipping workers never heard Cody in the box.

“Maybe the foam muffled the sound. Maybe they thought there was a toy in there,” she said. “I’m sure noises come from boxes often.”

Bennett said she’s glad to get her cat back, and that she never worried that something bad had happened to Cody.

“He’s gotten lost before,” she said, “so I knew he probably wouldn’t get hurt.”

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