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South Carolina cat missing for 2 years found in California U-Haul

RIVERSIDE -- A state food and agriculture inspector performing a routine check on a U-Haul trailer was surprised to discover a stowaway cat that had apparently hitched a ride all the way from South Carolina.

CBS Los Angeles reports that Riverside County Animal Services officials are coordinating a return flight for Kevin, an orange tabby that managed to crawl inside the U-Haul trailer for a cross-country ride all the way to Riverside County.

The woman who was towing the trailer had told the inspector she did not own a cat, and both the woman and the inspector were surprised to find Kevin inside.

After the dehydrated Kevin was spotted during a search of the U-Haul trailer, he was taken to the Blythe Animal Shelter, where workers found he had a microchip identifying the owner -- Cheryl Walls of Anderson, S.C.

According to Riverside County officials, Walls adopted Kevin from a shelter in June 2013, and one day that fall, she let him go outside. Kevin had been outside before and always returned, but this time he never came home.

"I assumed someone must have picked him up," Walls said. "Now he has seen more of the country than me."

"We have handled some pets with crazy back stories, and this is one more for the list," said Robert Miller, director of Riverside County Animal Services. "The good news is we know the owner, she wants her pet back and we'll make that happen."

Kevin is expected to be flown back to South Carolina on Wednesday, thanks to donations from local animal groups and Riverside County shelter employees.