ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – When a house fire scared Miko, it really scared Miko.
The black and white cat ended up in Pueblo, Colo., some 240 miles north of her Albuquerque home. She was returned Sunday to her owner, Jade Schulte.
Miko's adventure began after Schulte's home burned in December. The cat disappeared that night.
"We didn't think we were going to get her back," Schulte said. "We had basically given up hope and were hoping that she was with a good family."
About two weeks ago, she got a call from Pueblo that her cat was safe and sound.
"I was like, 'Great I'll pick her up!"' Schulte said. "I figured she was here at the shelter but they said, 'We're in Pueblo, Colorado,' and I said, 'How on earth did she get to Pueblo, Colorado?' and they said 'I don't know, where are you?' I said, 'We're in Albuquerque."'
Officials at the Pueblo shelter speculate that Miko, scared and trying to keep warm, hid in a truck and rode it up Interstate 25. When the Pueblo animal shelter got her, her collar was missing, but shelter officials scanned the microchip in her neck and came up with her owner's name.
"That's when we discovered that Miko has come all the way from New Mexico," said Janet Neals of Pueblo Animal Services.
Donna Straub, head of Pueblo Animal Services, drove Miko to Santa Fe on Sunday. Rick DeReyes of Albuquerque's Animal Welfare picked her up there and drove her to Albuquerque.
"If there's a way to show the benefits of microchipping, this would be it," DeReyes said.
Animal control officials say most cats separated from their owners are never returned because most cats aren't microchipped. Albuquerque's animal control ordinance requires pets to be microchipped or have an identification tattoo.