updated 8/24/2007 11:03:37 PM ET 2007-08-25T03:03:37

Annie the cat loves to roam, but she got a bit more traveling experience than she bargained for last month. She sneaked into the back of a truck — bound for Virginia.

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After traveling 1,000 miles, the 10-year-old calico roamed in the woods in Roanoke, Va., for 18 days before being caught.

“She’s definitely a pretty darn independent cat,” owner Ann Roskam said. “She likes to be outdoors all the time but she comes home every morning. When she didn’t come home, we thought we’d lost her.”

Annie had hopped into the truck that Roskam’s neighbors Michael and Christina Blackley were using late last month to move from New Franken, near Green Bay, to Roanoke.

It took them three days to get there, and temperatures inside the truck were sweltering. Michael Blackley’s father, Chip Grubb, helped unload it.

“We’re carrying boxes and suddenly we see something jump from one box to another,” Grubb said. “All things considered, she looked pretty good. But she had been in there for three days without food or water.”

Annie wore an identification tag, but a deer spooked her and she ran off. Grubb said he “felt awful” and put up posters and drove around searching for her. Annie finally showed up at a neighbor’s house and arrangements were made for a flight home.

The kitty’s life will remain largely unchanged, though.

“She loves to be outdoors, and she needs to be outdoors,” Roskam said.

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