FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) — A cat at the center of a custody battle across several states will be returned to Kansas, Wake County Animal Center officials say.

The cat was brought to 5-Points Animal Hospital in Fuquay-Varina a few weeks ago after being found outside. When the cat was scanned for a microchip, veterinarians found the cat was registered to an owner, Carol Holmes, in Wichita, Kansas.

Holmes said ten years ago, the cat, which she named Bob, got outside and went missing. It’s around that time when Alexandra Streight said the cat, who she renamed Maui, showed up on her property in Kansas.

Streight said she took him in and has been caring for him for the last decade. When her family moved to Fuquay-Varina, the cat came along. Streight said she never got the cat microchipped, and she did not know he already had one.

Since being found in Wake County, Streight and Holmes have both claimed ownership of the cat. On Monday, the Wake County Animal Center worked with the County Attorney’s Office to decide that the cat should be returned to Holmes in Kansas.

In a statement, an Animal Center representative said: “Ms. Holmes has confirmed that she is the cat’s owner, that she had no intention to abandon the cat when it disappeared from her property, that she wishes to reclaim the cat, and that she has the means to make arrangements for the cat to be transported back to Ms. Holmes’ home in Kansas.”

The Wake County Animal Center, in consultation with the County Attorney’s Office, has determined that Bob/Maui the cat should be returned to Carol Holmes. 

Ms. Holmes was the cat’s actual owner in 2014 when the cat disappeared from her property and showed up in the backyard of Kevin and Alexandra Streight, while both Ms. Holmes and the Streights lived in Kansas. 

More from FOX8

North Carolina News

See the latest North Carolina news

The cat has a microchip, and Ms. Holmes is listed on the cat’s microchip as the cat’s owner.  Ms. Holmes was listed on the cat’s microchip as its owner sometime after she adopted the cat in 2013, and sometime before the cat showed up in the Streights’ backyard in 2014. 

After the cat showed up in the Streights’ backyard in 2014, Ms. Holmes was never contacted by anyone to determine whether she was the cat’s owner.  The Streights were apparently unaware that the cat had a microchip.  The Streights subsequently moved to Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina with the cat. 

In August 2023, after the cat was brought to a veterinary hospital in Fuquay-Varina by individuals who observed the cat roaming their neighborhood and were unsure who its owner was, the veterinary hospital staff scanned the cat for a microchip and discovered the cat’s microchip, which listed Ms. Holmes, in Kansas, as the cat’s owner.  The veterinary hospital staff immediately called Ms. Holmes and asked her if she was the cat’s owner.  Ms. Holmes stated that she was the cat’s owner, and that she wished to reclaim the cat. 

Wake County Communications