Stuffi the cat is recovering after spending 26 days trapped inside a wall in Timmins in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Stuffi's ordeal began June 16 when Guy Mantha and his wife Linda Jardine-Mantha were upgrading the air conditioning unit and duct work in their home. "She ran away when we had this air-conditioner tech guy in changing our unit," Jardine-Mantha said, adding her cat is usually shy around strangers.
"We assumed she ran off because she usually hides when people come in. And then she comes out a few hours later."
But Stuffi didn't come back and Jardine-Mantha was worried. She put a note and a photo on her Facebook page, called friends and notified the Humane Society. No one had seen her cat.
A few days later, Linda stepped up the search after she thought she was hearing noises in the house.
With her husband in the construction business, they called on a friend who had a special camera that could be inserted in the air ducts. No luck.
Guy and Linda called on another friend who had an infrared camera.
They scanned the house with that, looking for a heat signature that would be produced by any warm-blooded animal. Nothing.
"Every once in awhile, we heard meowing, and we thought maybe it's a cat outside in heat because there's a couple of strays around," Jardine-Mantha said.
Last Friday, Jardine-Mantha could hear sounds inside the house again.
"She called me at work and she said I think I heard it inside the wall ... oh my god, I said," Mantha said.
They called the friend with the infrared camera and began another search.
They broke a hole in the wall in the closet, and they put a light in there. Her husband's friend looked in and saw the cat.
"So they ripped out the wall and sure enough she was in there, all scrunched up, where she'd been for three and a half weeks, and so we rushed her to the hospital," she said.
Stuffi has been recovering at the Algonquin Boulevard Animal Hospital, where she is gradually regaining her strength.
"She's a little miracle. It's unreal. Twenty-six days with no food, no water," Jardine-Mantha said.
She said she was told by the veterinarian that animals deprived of food and water over a long period of time will usually die of liver failure. Jardine-Mantha said all the tests on Stuffi came back and the animal is fine.
There's a radio interview with Linda Jardine-Mantha on this page