A furry stowaway who had been missing from his South Carolina home since 2013 has been found hiding in a trailer in Southern California.
Kevin the orange tabby cat made the more than 2,500 miles to the Arizona-California border without detection until he was discovered during a routine state food and agriculture check.
And now his owner Cheryl Walls is looking forward to getting her pet back, after assuming he had found a new home.
U.S. & World
"I assumed someone must have picked him up," Walls said, "Now he has seen more of the country than me."
Kevin was found when an inspector asked the truck driver to open the trailer, she complied, and the surprised pair could hear muffled meows inside.
The woman did not have a clue as to how the animal ended up on board, and the feline was taken to Riverside County Animal Services’ Blythe shelter.
After the dehydrated moggy was fed and watered, employees discovered he had a microchip, and workers got in touch with South Carolina resident Walls, who had adopted Kevin from her local shelter in June 2013.
Kevin, who shares the name of her late fiancé, seemed to get wanderlust, and disappeared months later during the fall when she allowed him to go outside.
"We have handled some pets with crazy back stories, and this is one more for the list," Riverside County Department of Animal Services Director Robert Miller said, "The good news is we know the owner, she wants her pet back, and we’ll make that happen."
Two nonprofit organizations, Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team and the Animal Solutions Konnection Foundation and shelter employees have made donations to pay for the cat’s journey home.
Riverside County is coordinating the cat’s flight plan, and he is tentatively slated to fly home Wednesday morning.