A Utah cat with a love for cardboard makes a surprise trip to California in an Amazon box

Galina, a 6-year-old indoor cat from Utah, loves to hide and play with cardboard.

Earlier this month, the two had an exhausting Amazon pack trip, a frantic search, a rescue in California, and a tearful reunion.

Owner Carrie Clark said Tuesday that her family is still waiting to “reintroduce her cardboard again” because they don't want to stress her out.

Clarke got Galena as a kitten after her aunt rescued a pregnant feral cat. The calico and Siamese American Shorthairs have been a constant companion and source of emotional support.

“I've been through a bunch of health stuff and she and I have been through it all together. She has this wonderful extra part to her personality that's so endearing. And she can tell when you're not feeling well,” Clark said. “She's really very special to me.” “

So when Jalina disappeared on April 10, Clarke was a mess.

They searched the neighborhood, put up fliers and posted Facebook notices on missing pet pages in Lehi, Utah.

“Not knowing what happened to her was very traumatic. I cried my eyes out for seven days trying to figure out what happened,” Clark said. Clark also went through all the worst-case scenarios, wondering if the cat might get out of the house and get kidnapped by a predator or get run over by a car.

Clark said she received a “life-changing text” on April 17, saying Galena's microchip had been scanned, so Clark knew it was found somewhere. Shortly after, she received a call that her cat was near Riverside, California, after being found in a box with steel-toed boots that had been returned to an Amazon warehouse.

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Clark's husband had ordered several pairs of shoes, kept one and returned the rest in a large box on April 10.

“We realized that our beautiful cat had jumped into this box without us knowing,” she said.

Clark said Amazon employees knew just who to call when they found the cat: co-worker Brandi Hunter, who rescues cats.

Hunter took the cat home and to the vet the next day, where the microchip was scanned.

Clark spoke with Hunter, who “calmed me down and told me my cat was fine,” despite spending six days in a cardboard box without food or water.

“I wanted so badly to be with her,” Clark said. She and her husband flew to California the next day, met Galina at the vet's office and rented a car to go home.

“We did what we had to do because I adore her,” Clark said.

It's been a very emotional week.

“She went from laughing hysterically because she was stuck like that — we mailed our cat — you know… just the humorous part of it, to crying hysterically, all within about five seconds,” Clark said.

Clark said the family was lucky to get Galena back, in part because the weather wasn't severe during the time the cat was missing, the box was torn apart, allowing her to get more air, and because Hunter was the one who took her there. A vet and scanned her for a microchip.

Since word broke, Clark has shared her cat's story, with advice to microchip your pets and double-check your Amazon boxes before returning them.

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Galina is a calm cat, Clark said.

“She didn't meow,” Clark said. “We loved her to meow so we knew she was meowing” in the crate.

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