RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A stowaway cat was preparing Tuesday for its return home after somehow making its way from South Carolina to Riverside County.
The orange tabby named Kevin stealthily traveled undetected to the Arizona-California border stowed away in a U-Haul trailer.
He was discovered by a State Food & Agricultural inspector performing a routine check on the trailer.
The female driver towing the U-Haul informed the inspector she did not own a cat and had never seen the tabby before.
The feline was driven to Riverside County Animal Services’ Blythe shelter where employees discovered a microchip embedded under its skin.
The presumed owner, Cheryl Walls, was tracked to a South Carolina location.
“We have handled some pets with crazy back stories, and this is one more for the list,” 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.”
The Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (S.T.A.R.T. Rescue), the Animal Solutions Konnection (ASK) Foundation and shelter employees have made donations to pay for the cat’s journey home. START Rescue and the ASK Foundation are two nonprofit organizations that work closely with Riverside County in saving pets and programs that benefit shelter animals.
Walls adopted Kevin from her local shelter in South Carolina in June 2013. His name, which was given to him prior to the adoption, had special significance because it was the same as her late fiance’s first name.
Walls initially kept Kevin as an indoor cat, but after he acted unhappy, she let him outside. He would always come home, until one day in the fall of 2013 when he went missing.
“I assumed someone must have picked him up,” she said. “Now he has seen more of the country than me.”
Flight arrangements were still being determined, but a tentative plan has been scheduled for Wednesday morning. The departure will take place either from the Palm Springs International Airport or the Ontario International Airport.
The cat is currently being cared for at the Riverside County’s Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms.