- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 29, 2005

NANCY, France (Agence France-Presse) — 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 1-year-old feline from Wisconsin, somehow survived being locked in a container for the long trip and was discovered, thinner but healthy, 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.

“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, said.

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 euthanized.

But the American owners sent a photograph to confirm it was their Emily, as well as her vaccination records. In the meantime, the cat was being kept in quarantine, where it would stay for another month 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,” Mr. Becker said.

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