Whose Cat Is It? Fierce Custody Battle Over Feline Named Bob, AKA Maui

Cat Custody Battle
The cat in question.GoFundMe

What seemed to be a feel-good story about a long-lost cat being returned to its owner has spiraled into a custody battle stretching from Kansas to North Carolina.

Carol Holmes lives in Kansas and says her cat, Bob, disappeared 10 years ago. She was notified over the weekend by a vet in North Carolina that her pet had miraculously been found, thanks to his microchip.

Alex Streight lives in North Carolina and says the feline's name is Maui, and that she has been his common-law mother for the last decade.

Now the women are battling for custody of the black-and-white kitty, which is now in the custody of animal control officials, who are tasked with deciding who is the rightful owner of Bob. Or Maui.

“The cat is in protective custody,” Dr. Jennifer Federico of North Carolina's Wake County Animal Control stated. “The cat is safe and isolated.”

The feline made headlines over the weekend as a feel-good story about a long-lost cat found 1,200 miles away after disappearing 10 years ago.

Holmes was overjoyed to receive a call in Wichita from Five Points Vet Hospital in North Carolina saying a cat in their care had been tracked to her via the animal's microchip.

And here is where the feel-good story gets very complicated.

The cat had been brought to the vet on Aug. 19 by a neighbor of Streight's, who found the animal wandering their neck of the woods.  

When Streight eventually found out her cat was at Five Points, she headed over, armed with veterinarian records that showed she had been the feline's caregiver for years.

While living in Wichita 10 years ago, Streight said she found a lost cat but was unable to find its owner. So she adopted it and named it Maui. About eight years ago, she moved to North Carolina, bringing Maui with her.

She had no idea the cat was microchipped, she said.

“It’s just absurd to me that anyone would think to take someone’s pet away from the family that he’s been with for ten years,” Streight told WRAL-TV.

On Tuesday, she obtained a warrant for larceny at the local magistrate's office, but then learned the cat had been picked up by animal control officials, who told her she could not take possession of the animal because it was the subject of an ongoing investigation, the station reported.

And so, it is now up to Wake County Animal Control to make the Solomon's choice of who gets to be the mother of Bob. Or Maui.

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