NEW YORK (AP) – A champion cat was not exactly gracious about his win: He bolted for 14 hours.

Evgeny Plushenko, named after the Olympic gold medal-winning Russian figure skater, jumped from a judge’s arms after being named best of its breed at the Cat Fanciers’ Association Cat annual show. He beat out 200 other felines at the Madison Square Garden event on Sunday.

The “Best in Show” Russian Blue with emerald eyes was found Monday, after 14 hours, huddled in a carpenter’s room.

“They love small spaces and can fit themselves into areas that you would not believe could make a cat feel comfortable,” the association’s Web site explains.

The 15-month-old bolted after one judge handed him to another.

Apparently, this member of a breed – called “clever and extremely agile” by the association – didn’t fall for traps baited with the best cat food. Instead, he found a hole in the wall under the stands and slipped into the workroom.

When found, Evgency Plushenko was tired and thirsty, but fine.

His story has a happier ending than that of Vivi, a show dog that bolted from her crate at Kennedy Airport in February after competing at the Westminster Kennel Club show. The beloved whippet is still missing.


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