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Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the cat came back — just not the very next day — after being mistakenly shipped 1,200 kilometres away.

“There’s been lots of treats and lots of belly rubs,” said his owner, Jackie Lake.

Baloo’s 10-day ordeal began when he snuck into a box of tire rims to catch a quick catnap in his Dartmouth home, not knowing that the box he had crawled into would soon be on its way to Alberta.

Lake taped up the box and shipped it off on Dec. 6. The next day, she noticed that Baloo was missing, and sh spent the weekend frantically searching her Dartmouth neighborhood for the beloved pet.

A Purolator employee found the cat in Montreal, and the local SPCA co-ordinated a return trip for the furry stowaway after getting in touch with Lake last Monday.

“I can’t stop thanking these people for helping me,” said Lake. “They took really good care of him. I’m just eternally grateful.”

Baloo left Montreal on Friday with Freedom Drivers, a group of volunteers that transports shelter animals, and got home Saturday at about 7 p.m.

He was welcomed by Lake, two of her kids — one of whom cried with joy — and the other family cat.

“He was a little freaked out when he first got home,” Lake said. “He’s had quite the ordeal. I just kept picking him up and saying ‘I’m sorry.’

“But by the end of the night he was back to his old mischievous self. He ripped a whole bag of cat litter in the bathroom so he and his brother could play in it while I was sleeping.”

Lake is glad to have Baloo back, though she said it might take some time for her three kids to forgive and forget.

“I’m told I’m not allowed near boxes or the animals anymore,” she said.

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