John Jones of Wichita is one relieved cat owner.

That’s because his missing cat Ebenezer, or “Ebby,” as he's called, finally turned up in — of all places — a school in Newton.


John Jones of Wichita is one relieved cat owner.

That’s because his missing cat Ebenezer, or “Ebby,” as he's called, finally turned up in — of all places — a school in Newton.

The cat had been missing from his home in Wichita since Dec. 18, and somehow remarkably made his way to Chisholm Middle School between then and Jan. 5, when he was reported spotted in the halls of the school by an energy resource manager.

How he’d gotten into the school and how long he’d been in there remains a mystery.

On Jan. 11, some of the school’s staff were able to catch the wayward feline, and Beverley Buller, one of the school’s librarians, helped take care of the cat in her office, giving him milk and a makeshift litter pan until his owners could be called. He was kept away from the students for fear of allergic reactions, but made sure the kids knew he was there by meowing at the office window.

“I wouldn't be surprised if he spent Christmas in here (the school),” Buller said. “His eyes were ‘goopy,’ he seemed to have ear mites, and his fur was soiled; it looked to me like he'd spent some time outdoors at some point.” Buller also added he was not skinny, so he’d been able to find food somewhere during his journey.

Ebby the cat was indeed lucky — he wore a collar with an ID tag on it, giving the school his owners’ names and phone number. When they couldn’t immediately be reached, Buller called the Caring Hands Humane Society, who were kind enough to take the cat from the school and give him a nice bath before he was reunited with his family.

“As my principal can tell you, I've always wanted a cat in the library,” Buller said. “But I understand why I can't have one. It made my day to be able to be part of returning a cat to its loving owners.”

And what do Ebby’s owners think about his safe return to home in Wichita?

“Ebby was incredibly lucky to have found kind people to take care of him and help him get home,” Jones said. “He's very happy to be home -— even with the bath he got and the medicine he has to take to clear up his respiratory infection. Without (the school’s) efforts we never would have been reunited with him.”