RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Forget magic carpet rides… a furry friend from Fredericksburg made a journey to Richmond by mattress.

A family from Fredericksburg purchased a new mattress and sent their old one to a dump in Richmond. But the day the transition happened, they couldn’t find their pet cat Winnie.

“My kids were out scouring the neighborhood,” Jessica King said. “They had made signs. Others were looking around. And, you know, everybody in the neighborhood knows her.”

The King family children made and dispersed flyers searching for Winnie. (Photo courtesy of the King family)

The posters read, “Missing cat, gray cat… a little fat.” They went up around Fredericksburg, but no one came to the family with the lost cat.

“We had pretty much given up hope,” King said. “We have to tell everyone that she’s probably not coming back.”

It turned out, they were looking in the wrong city. While her family was in panic mode, Winnie had traveled to the River City. King received an email from her pet’s microchip company saying that the lovable grey feline had been found miles and miles away in Richmond.

“They had found her at the city dump,” King laughed.

The family learned their little traveler had hitched a ride with the family’s old mattress. She was only able to be reunited with her loved ones after Richmond Animal Care and Control traced her microchip.

“I actually cried,” King recalled. “Then I called my husband crying and my boss crying.”

Richmond Animal Care and Control’s Christie Chipps-Peters used Winnie’s story to emphasize the importance of microchips. She urged everyone with pets in the community to get their animals chipped.

“Truly, it does save lives,” Chipps-Peters said.

In Winnie’s case, it lead to hugs and cuddles all around and her safe return with her family in Fredericksburg.