Delilah the cat is using up a few of her nine lives a little faster than her owners anticipated.

The feisty calico traveled 240 miles at interstate speeds in an SUV engine compartment from Ohio to Indiana in subzero temperatures over the holidays, hitching a ride unbeknownst to a Columbus family who had spent some time with relatives and was traveling home.

“It’s a miracle; it truly is,” said Delilah’s owner, Kathy Braidich, who lives with her husband Mike in Frazeysburg, Ohio, about an hour east of Columbus, Ohio.

Their son, Chuck Braidich and wife Katie, along with their children Declan, 5 and Fletcher, 2, had traveled to Frazeysburg after Christmas for a holiday visit with his parents and decided to head back to Columbus, Indiana, on Dec. 29 to beat the bad weather that was moving in.

Sometime before that departure from Ohio, Delilah, an indoor/outdoor cat who is about 8 years old, decided to check out Chuck and Katie’s SUV, crawling into the engine compartment.

Although Delilah is a loving pet with Mike and Kathy, they admit the cat isn’t as friendly with everyone else, something that’s puzzling since the couple adopted her from a rescue organization in Kentucky when she was a kitten.

“She is a very anti-social cat,” said Katie Braidich, who allowed that family visits tend to overwhelm Delilah and she generally goes into hiding mode during the holidays.

So no one was surprised when the cat didn’t seem to be around when the family departed to head back home to Indiana.

However, Kathy Braidich began to worry when there was no sighting of the cat for several days and posted on social media Jan. 2 that Delilah was missing.

For the rest of the story, pick up a Friday edition of The Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.