HONOLULU – When a family moved from Hawaii to Detroit, Michigan, more than a year ago, they thought they had lost their cat forever.
Bogie, a Siamese cat, was supposed to move with the family, but he escaped his kennel on a United Cargo flight, nonprofit Hawaii CatFriends told KHON-TV (http://bit.ly/1HQIbZZ ).
Bogie was missing for 19 months before he was reconnected with the family in Michigan.
"I found Bogie about six or eight months ago," Hawaii resident Bill Antilla said. "There's a number of cats I manage on Ualena Street near the Honolulu airport. Bogie started showing up periodically."
Antilla feeds a colony of stray cats in the area three nights a week. He is a volunteer for CatFriends, a nonprofit that spays and neuters feral cats on Oahu.
Bogie was friendlier than most feral cats and caught Antilla's eye because he looked like a purebred Siamese — unusual among the local feral cats.
He discovered that the cat was microchipped and the Hawaiian Humane Society was able to trace it back to the family in Detroit.
"Probably about 30 minutes later, I received a call from the daughter. She was just ecstatic we found Bogie," Antilla said.
United Airlines spokesman Charles Hobart told KHON-TV how Bogie escaped.
"Our agents were working to secure the door of the kennel with plastic ties to ensue Bogie's safety throughout the flight," Hobart wrote in a message. "During this process the cat escaped from his kennel. Our teams searched for the cat and put up posters in the surrounding areas. We are overjoyed that Bogie has been reunited with his owner."
Antilla said this is an example of why pets should be microchipped.
CatFriends shipped Bogie on United Cargo on Thursday. He was reunited with the family in Detroit on Friday morning.
"They're so excited to have him back," CatFriends President Jennifer Kishimori said. "They said now when they brought him home, they have carpeting, and he's thrilled to roll around on carpeting and not on the street anymore."
Information from: KHON-TV, http://khon.com