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Welcome center becomes rescue center for cross-country cat

In this Aug. 2016 photo provided by Alyson Payne, Milkie, a 14-year-old tabby cat, sits on a bathroom counter after being rescued in New Buffalo, Mich. A Michigan Welcome Center doubled as an animal rescue center, as employees sought and saved a cat that escaped from its cross-country bound family. Center employee Payne says workers finally safely trapped Milkie on Friday, Aug. 26. (Alyson Payne via AP)

A Michigan Welcome Center doubled as an animal rescue center, as employees sought and saved a cat that escaped from its cross-country bound family.

Milkie, a 14-year-old tabby, was traveling in a moving truck with Graham Skelly and his 10-year-old son, Simon, from Seattle to Arlington, Virginia. The father says they stopped Aug. 21 at the travelers' center in New Buffalo, near the Indiana line.

Skelly says the leashed cat became scared by a dog and ran into woods. The Skellys searched for two hours before leaving empty-handed.

Center employee Alyson Payne says workers finally safely trapped Milkie on Friday.

Graham Skelly drove from Virginia to reclaim the pet Sunday. He says by phone — amid Milkie's meows — that the family is "grateful" for the rescue.

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