WINTER PARK - A Highlands Ranch family didn't realize they had an extra passenger when they left Winter Park Sunday afternoon, until they heard him meow when they got home.
Jack Alanis, his wife and two-year-old child spent the morning skiing at Winter Park's Mary Jane. When they left in the late morning to head home, they thought they heard a meow coming from near their car.
They searched under the car, in the engine compartment and on the wheel wells, but found no sign of a feline companion.
So, the family piled into the Ford Expedition and began driving to their home south of Denver.
Only when they made a brief stop in Highlands Ranch and heard a familiar meow did they realize for sure.
"We brought a cat back from Winter Park," Alanis said.
With some help, the family lowered the SUV's spare tire, which sits underneath the car towards the back wheels.
That's when they discovered their furry passenger had made it down the mountain with them.
Alanis and his family brought the cat to the Dumb Friend's League Buddy Center in Castle Rock to see if he had a microchip in him. He didn't. The cat wasn't wearing a collar either, but was very friendly.
The shelter believes the lost cat is about five or six years old. He is yellow in color and has been fixed.
The shelter will keep the cat as 'lost' for five days. If the Alanis family or the Dumb Friend's League can't find the cat's owners, he will then be put up for adoption.
They Alanis family had spent the night at some condominiums in Winter Park and are now working with the management there to try and find the cat's family.
If you have any information that could help bring the cat home, please call the Dumb Friend's League Buddy Center at (303) 751-5772 or visit http://www.ddfl.org/visit-us/buddy-center.