updated 11/30/2005 6:47:26 AM ET 2005-11-30T11:47:26

A wandering cat that wound up traveling across the Atlantic Ocean to France as a stowaway in a cargo container is coming back home.

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The cat, whose name is Emily, will leave France Thursday and arrive home Friday, said owner Lesley McElhiney. After hearing the wayward cat’s tale, Continental Airlines offered to fly her home once she cleared quarantine.

“I think they are going to do a countdown in my kindergartner’s classroom,” McElhiney said.

Emily vanished from her Appleton home in late September. She apparently wandered into a paper company’s distribution center near her home and crawled into a container of paper bales.

The container went by truck to Chicago and by ship to Belgium before the cat was found Oct. 24 at Raflatac, a laminating company in Nancy, France. Emily, who turned 1 year old that very day, was thin and thirsty but still alive.

Workers at Raflatac used her tags to phone her veterinarian in Wisconsin, and the vet called the McElhineys.

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