Kitten who made mystery trip to Maine returns home to Albuquerque

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Kitten who made mystery trip to Maine returns home to Albuquerque

A 6 month old kitten from New Mexico who mysteriously ended up in Maine headed back home Thursday.

Spice slipped out the door of her Albuquerque home during trick of treat on Halloween and turned up 5 days later and 2,300 miles away in Portland, Maine. Her story went on to make headlines worldwide.

Spice had been put into a duffel bag, along with some cat food and litter, and dropped off at a thrift shop in Portland, where she was found.

A shopper named Bob Watterson found the bag while helping a donor to unload a truck and investigated when he saw the bag moving inside of the shop.  He brought Spice home for a few days before bringing her to the Animal Refuge League shelter in nearby Westbrook on November 11.

A microchip scan at the shelter yielded the highly unexpected result.

The Animal Refuge League’s  Jenna Roth said: “We were in disbelief when we called the microchip company and they told us [ the kitten’s home is in New Mexico]. They were in disbelief too to see a cat from New Mexico came to Maine in just five days.”

As planned, Spice traveled back home yesterday, with help from ARL shelter staff and a benefactor. Idexx pet testing kits company CEO Jon Ayers, an animal lover with cats of his own, stepped forward with an offer to pay for Spice and a chaperone to fly from Portland to New Mexico. Southwest Airlines made sure that Spice was comfortable flying in the passenger cabin and provided a soft-sided travel carrier for her.

Spice’s owner has chosen to remain anonymous and out of the spotlight. The owner was not in attendance for the happy occasion when Spice was hand delivered to the Albuquerque Animal Welfare’s Westside Shelter by ARL executive director Patsy Murphy, who traveled cross country with the kitten.

“She made it. We’re bringing her home,” announced Murphy,  as she walked into the Albuquerque shelter Thursday with Spice.

“Everyone wanted her to come home to Albuquerque,” said Murphy.

“What a mystery. How could a cat from Albuquerque, New Mexico, arrive in Portland, Maine, and what was her story?” Murphy said.

“She was as much a mystery as she was just an enigma,” Murphy said.

“Spice is the perfect example of how important micro-chipping is for our pets. It’s a great component of being a great pet owner,” said ARL community relations manager Jenna Roth.

Spice’s owner was expected to pick her up from the shelter later Thursday, after news crews had departed.

For more, see our post of November 21: Missing Albuquerque Kitten is Found in Maine.

KRQE news covered Spice’s homecoming:

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