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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 11, 2003

Hawai'i stowaway cat survives weeks in crate

Associated Press

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — An 8-month-old kitten, named Lilo, survived a journey from Hawai'i to Kansas trapped in the crate from early December until he was freed on Thursday. He had lost more than half of his normal weight, but was given a good chance to survive.

"We are dumbfounded. It is a little miracle," said Lilo's owner, Army Sgt. 1st Class Brody Hilstock.

Hilstock was stationed at Aliamanu Military Reservation before his transfer to Fort Riley, Kan. He and his family packed up their belongings on Dec. 2-3 — but they couldn't find Lilo, born around the time Disney's film "Lilo & Stitch" premiered.

The young cat apparently had crawled into a set of box springs. Lilo didn't react even when movers, prompted by the Hilstocks' concerns, pounded on the crates.

On Wednesday, as the crates passed through Denver, a North American Van Lines worker heard weak mewing. He alerted his manager, who contacted another company worker on Fort Riley.

When the multicolored kitten was finally lifted out of the crate in Kansas, he was taken to Junction City Animal Hospital to begin treatment for starvation and dehydration.

Lilo weighed in on Thursday morning at 1 pound, 14 ounces — about 3 pounds less than a kitten his age should weigh.