This is a ‘tail’ of cat survival and it’s a near miss. Tux had gone missing for 11 days. His disappearance had coincided with the removal by the council of an old sofa which the owner had arranged to be disposed of at the waste recycling plant.
The sofa had been placed in a van by the contractor where it stayed for six days with Tux hidden under cushions on it. Tux, therefore, had survived for at least six days without food or water.
Heavy machinery then lifted the item of furniture in one of the transfer sheds. At this time Tux appeared when he jumped over the vehicle’s shovel.
He was noticed thankfully and has survived. He was frightened, thirsty and hungry.
His human guardian, Ms Jones, said that he had a broken leg and she was trying to raise funds for the vet’s bill. She also said:
“Everybody says he’s a miracle. I don’t know how he survived that long without eating in the back of a van.”
Comment: It seems that Tux was on the sofa when it was collected by council workers for disposal. He was put in the van with the sofa where he waited for six days before being thrown into the incinerator at which point he made himself visible, thank God. He may have been scared by the workers coming into the home and hidden inside the sofa perhaps under a cushion where he remained until placed inside the van.
Perhaps the most likely explanation (and I am guessing) is that Tux jumped in the van after the sofa had been placed in it and was then locked in. We know how inquisitive cats can be. Perhaps the contractor workers were having a cup of tea with Tux’s caretaker when Tux jumped in the van. He was probably outside because the contractor workers were inside his home.
The waste recycling plant is at Chalvey near Slough, UK.
P.S. Tux is said to be 6 months old but he looks older to me.