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DENVER (Reuters) - A pet cat that went missing in Colorado five years ago was found wandering in Manhattan, and will soon be sent on a plane to reunite with its former owners, an animal pound spokesman said on Wednesday.
Workers at the pet shelter traced Willow the cat back to a family in Colorado, thanks to a microchip embedded in the animal's neck that they checked with a scanner, said Richard Gentles, spokesman for Animal Care & Control of New York City.
A concerned citizen found the brown, black and white cat recently prowling the streets on the East Side of Manhattan, and the animal was taken to the shelter.
Animal care workers do not know who was taking care of the cat, but Gentles said one thing is certain -- the pet did not travel half-way across the country on its own.
"The cat was in very good condition, clean, a little chunky," Gentles said. "So obviously someone was taking care of her."
Willow belongs to a Colorado family called the Squires, and the animal apparently ran away five years ago during a home renovation project, Gentles said.
The Squires could not be reached for comment late on Wednesday.
Animal Care & Control plans to soon fly the cat back to the Squires, after the animal passes a required screening test for communicable disease and to make sure it is healthy enough to travel, Gentles said.
Reporting by Keith Coffman, writing by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Greg McCune