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WebClawer: 'Couch cat' reunited with owner, flossing monkeys, real-life pink elephant found

March 20, 2009 |  4:05 pm

Callie, the cat found in a couch in Spokane, Washington

From cats and dogs to monkeys and elephants, it's a wild day in the animal kingdom:

-- The "surprise" cat who was found inside a $27 secondhand sofa in Spokane, Wash., has been reunited with her owner. Vickie Mendenhall bought the couch at a Spokane Valley Village store to furnish her new home; she and her family heard faint meowing sounds but, she said, whenever they looked for the source the sound stopped. "We thought it was coming through the vents into the house," Mendenhall explained.  (Her 9-year-old son thought the house was haunted by a cat.)  Eventually, Mendenhall's boyfriend felt something move under him while sitting on the couch; he found a hungry, dehydrated calico cat inside. Mendenhall, who works at the local animal shelter (called SpokAnimal), took the cat there and went on a mission to find her owner.  Employees at Value Village had no record of the person who donated the couch, but local media reports caught the ears of Bob Killion, who said he was "thrilled" to claim the cat, 9-year-old Callie. Killion said he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2001 and told he had a year and a half to live; he credits Callie and his two other pets with getting him through that difficult time.  Spokesman Review

-- A pink elephant was spotted by a cameraman filming a herd of African elephants in Botswana for a BBC wildlife program. (No word on what the cameraman was drinking at the time.)  Experts believe it's actually an albino, a condition that's rare but not unheard of in African elephants. The elephant, thought to be a 2- to 3-month-old calf, was seen walking in the shade of its mother -- which ecologist Dr. Mike Chase believes may be a good sign for its long-term survival in the severe climate of its environment. "This behavior suggests it is aware of its susceptibility to the harsh African sun, and adapted a unique behavior to improve its chances of survival," said Chase.  "I have learned that elephants are highly adaptable, intelligent and masters of survival."  BBC

-- Musher Lance Mackey, who won his third consecutive Iditarod this week, says the race was the last for his lead dog, Larry. "Even if he wants to do another, I'm not going to let him," Mackey said. "He's got a lot of miles under him." Larry is 9 years old and has competed in eight Iditarods.  Anchorage Daily News

-- Researchers at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute made an unusual discovery while observing female long-tailed macaques living in a monkey colony in Thailand: The monkeys were seen teaching their young to floss their teeth using strands of hair. "I was surprised because teaching techniques on using tools properly to a third party are said to be an activity carried out only by humans," said Professor Nobuo Masataka.  Telegraph

-- Have you ever wondered what became of your favorite animal actors after their stardom waned?  PeoplePets catches up with Mr. Bigglesworth; Kelsey Grammer's co-star Eddie; the Taco Bell dog (who knew her best friend was Reese Witherspoon's "Legally Blonde" chihuahua co-star?); and more.  PeoplePets

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Vickie Mendenhall and found cat Callie .  Credit: Christopher Anderson / Associated Press

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