Cat survives 5-mile ride on open trailer

Published 8:55 am Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Linda Johnson of Hunterdale holds onto White Kitty, who disappeared last week. The 20-pound, pure white cat climbed into a box that was hauled to CHKD Thrift Store in Franklin. - Gwen Albers | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—Linda Johnson says she is thankful for Barbara Umphlett, Jane Barnes, Franklin Patrol Officer Logan Jackson and The Tidewater News.

The combined helped the Hunterdale woman find her 20-pound, pure white cat with yellow eyes after it disappeared two days before Thanksgiving.

White Kitty apparently crawled into a box at Johnson’s Scottswood home near Cypress Cove County Club. Her husband, Al, loaded the box and a bunch of other stuff onto an open trailer, which he hauled nearly five miles to the CHKD Thrift Store in Franklin.

It’s believed the cat jumped out of the box at the Armory Drive store.

Umphlett, who manages the thrift store, found White Kitty underneath a coffee table on display on the sidewalk.

“I saw a big white blob, and came in and asked the cashier to do a double-check,” she said.

Concerned the 4-year-old cat might get hit, Umphlett called the Franklin animal shelter.

She also shared the story about the cat with her mother-in-law, Jane Barnes of Courtland.

In the meantime, Linda Johnson placed a classified ad in The Tidewater News in hopes of finding White Kitty. Barnes saw the ad and called the Johnsons. That was on Saturday.

When the Johnsons called the animal shelter, the call was transferred to Franklin Police. A dispatcher said they would have to wait until Monday.

Al Johnson went to the police department, where patrol officer Logan Jackson agreed to release White Kitty.

“He just felt so touched to see it was our cat,” Linda Johnson said. “I sent an e-mail to the policeman.”

She’s also grateful for Umphlett, Barnes and The Tidewater News.

“There was no way (we would’ve gotten him back) if I hadn’t put in the ad,” Linda Johnson said.