An American cat in Paris

by Lorin Michel Saturday, July 14, 2012 2:40 AM

Her journey began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in late September of 2005. That was when a little girl named Emily wandered into a nearby paper company’s distribution center and evidently crawled into a container of paper bales. No one seems to know why, though we could speculate that it might have been comfortable. Maybe she wanted a place to lay her head and catch up on a nap, her 23rd of the day. Perhaps she was seeking an adventure though that’s unlikely as she had always been a fairly close-to-home kind of gal.

Maybe there was a mouse.

Whatever the cause for her wandering on that crisp fall day, Emily the tabby cat disappeared from her home and her distraught family was certain they’d never see her again. Nine-year-old Nick was devastated. Little did they know that Emily was just fine and had embarked upon an amazing trip she could hardly have planned better if she had internet access.

The paper container she was in had been picked up and was traveling by truck to Chicago. Once it arrived at the port, the container, along with many others just like it, was then loaded onto a ship that was sailing for Belgium. But Emily must have found a way to de-container because she ate and drank her way across the Atlantic, and exited the ship with the other not-so-nearly precious cargo. She sauntered her way through several streets, pausing to look in the shop windows, admiring the fine wares she was witnessing. She sampled some of the local cuisine. And then, finally, was found on October 24 at a laminating company called Raflatac. In Nancy, France. She was just one year old.

Emily, on her way home from Paris

Workers took Emily to a local veterinarian who called the feline’s veterinarian in Wisconsin who called Emily’s family who were astounded. They couldn’t believe Emily had seen France before they did. Naturally, they also couldn’t believe she’d been found safe and alive when they thought she was lost forever. But to find out that she was in Europe was something they almost couldn’t comprehend.

Continental Airlines heard about Emily and offered to fly her home from Paris. She had to spend a month in quarantine first but then an airline employee named George Chiladze escorted her from Paris to Newark, New Jersey. They flew business class. There was no word as to whether she would be sipping champagne like the rest of the flyers, but she was obviously happy. When they arrived in Newark, they were met by cargo agent Gaylia McLeod who then took Emily the rest of the way home, on a 50-seater plane, to Milwaukee by way of Chicago. She was fed peppered salmon filet, some French cat food and some water.

Upon landing and being reunited with her family, Emily meowed in French. Her family remarked that all the French food must have done her some good. She was a little bigger and heavier than before, and evidently a little calmer.

A trip abroad will do that to even the most grounded cat.

Tonight I’m celebrating Emily and all of the cats in the world who make their owners so very happy. I don’t have a cat and haven’t had one for a long time, but many of my closest friends do; my mother does. They’re amazing creatures, wise and sometimes a little too cultured for their own good. But they’re forever interesting and determined. They often have an agenda. I like that in an animal.

In the case of Emily, the American cat in Paris, hers was obviously to see the world and to live it out loud. 


live out loud

Comments (1) -

7/15/2012 2:20:01 PM #

Where do you get this stuff!??? Amazing!

Bobbi United States

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