HELENA, Mont. - A well-traveled cat named "Mata Hairi" will soon be reunited with her owner after spending nearly 10 months traveling thousands of miles with a hitchhiker who rescued her from the rain.
The feline adventure started in Portland, Ore., when the cat's owner, Ron Buss, let her out of the house on Sept. 1. The cat usually left for no more than a couple of hours at a time, but this time she didn't return.
When Michael King, who has been homeless since 2003, spotted Mata Hairi, she was crouched under a table at a cafe, trying to stay out of the pouring rain.
"I see cats all the time," King said. "I don't pick up cats. I don't want a cat, especially a full-grown one."
And he definitely didn't want to haul around the needed food and bowls that would add 20 pounds to his pack.
"Something told me to grab her. I don't know," King told the Independent Record.
He named the cat Tabor, for the cafe where he found her.
She traveled with King as he hitchhiked to California, back to Portland and out to Montana, where King's foster father lives.