Cat Returns Home Days Later After Hitching Ride On Delivery Truck

SANDY SPRINGS, GA — A cat belonging to a Sandy Springs couple that disappeared for three days was found in an unusual place on the other side of metro Atlanta. Dixie, the nine-year-old feline belonging to David and Mary McCarney, miraculously turned up at a mattress recycling facility run by the same company that delivered new furniture to the residents’ home just days earlier, the couple said.

The story behind Dixie’s disappearance and return begins with a delivery of new beds Mattress Firm made on Monday to the McCarney home. Later in the day the McCarneys noticed their furry family member was missing, and assumed Dixie ran outside while the door was open.

Hours and days passed and the couple, both English teachers at Atlanta International School, did not see or hear any signs of Dixie’s return. For three days they desperately searched their neighborhood in the Northridge area and sent out alerts calling on neighbors and others to help them locate Dixie.

“We were heartbroken,” Mary McCarney said. “As the days went by, we really thought we’d lost him forever.”

However, on Thursday, Mary McCarney received a surprise phone call from Mattress Firm. The caller told McCarney they think they found her lost cat. A company representative sent McCarney a photo via text, which confirmed the cat found at their recycling warehouse in south Atlanta was, in fact, Dixie.

“It seems Dixie somehow got inside the truck as the guys were delivering our beds,” McCarney said. “He managed to survive three days unnoticed until he finally jumped out of a box spring at the warehouse. Thanks to salesman David Coward at our local Mattress Firm store, the staff guessed he was our missing kitty.”

Richard Eller, senior operations manager with Mattress Firm, delivered the frightened, but generally unscathed, stowaway for a happy reunion with his owners.

“It was a total team effort by all the Mattress Firm employees involved, from the sales staff to everyone at the distribution center,” Eller said. “We are thrilled that we were able to bring Dixie home safe and sound.”

The McCarneys said they were overjoyed and grateful to have their family member back home in Sandy Springs. They also noted the employees at Mattress firm are “our heroes.” As for Dixie? You can bet the McCarneys will be keeping a close eye on his whereabouts from now on.

“He’s grounded,” David McCarney joked.

Photo caption: Mary McCarney, left, with Dixie and Richard Eller of Mattress Firm. Credit: David McCarney

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