Cat a Stowaway Survivor

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Emily the Cat Survives Stowaway Adventure

Picture(s): AP Photo/Philippe Gsiselbrecht |

Emily, the Seagoing Cat

Emily, a cat that went missing a month ago in Appleton, Wisc., rests on Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, at an animal center outside of Nancy, a city in northeastern France. Emily went prowling around a paper warehouse near home and ended up in a cargo container that went by ship across the Atlantic Ocean and by truck to Nancy.


Nov. 1, 2005 — Curiosity — or maybe it was a scurrying mouse — almost got the better of a cat that found itself accidentally shipped off to France from the United States on a three-week journey at sea without water or food.

But Emily, a striped one-year-old feline from Wisconsin, somehow survived being locked in a container for the long trip.

She was discovered, thinner but in healthy form, when workers at a French office supply company opened their sealed cargo box on Tuesday.

An identification collar with a veterinarian’s U.S. telephone number allowed them to trace the hapless animal and contact its owners in the town of Appleton, Wisc.

“They were crazy with joy. They thought they’d lost her after an absence of nearly a month,” one of the workers, Joelle de Becker, told AFP.

The collar also saved the cat from an ignominious end usually reserved for four-footed illegal immigrants arriving solo in France. The head of the regional state veterinary service, Regine Marchal, said that unidentified stowaways are usually euthanized.

But the U.S. owners sent a photograph to confirm it was their Emily, as well as her vaccination records.

In the meantime, the cat is being kept in quarantine, where it will stay for around another 30 days before being sent back home.

“Now we have to see if the cat will go back alone or accompanied, and who is going to pay its plane ticket,” Becker said. “We’re ready to do a collection so she is reunited with her owners.”

Copyright © 2005 Discovery Communications Inc

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