ST ALBANS, Maine — The famous EAA AirVenture Oshkosh events in Wisconsin are well-known for their wide array of plane performances and aviation appreciation spanning over the course of a week each year. The event sees hundreds of thousands of people attend every summer. This year's show, however, received an unexpected visitor: Delilah the cat.
Andrea Scholten, of St. Albans, finally finished packing up her pop-up camper to head to the 2022 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, a long-awaited trip after it was deferred for a few years due to the pandemic.
At the last minute before leaving, pillows and various last-minute items were thrown into the camper after hitching it to the car. Scholten and her family then hit the road.
The Scholten family drove around 900 miles from St. Albans to Toledo, Ohio where they made a pit stop to rest for the evening. Upon popping up the camper and opening the door, they were met with utter shock.
"I open the door, and there's Delilah," Scholten said. "I just screamed 'Delilah!' and my husband and the kids were like 'Delilah!' So, we went to Target, we bought her food, litter, a collar that we could write her name on because we were completely unprepared for this."
The family quickly came up with a plan on how to keep Delilah comfortable for the remainder of the trip. As they all continued traveling to Oshkosh, Delilah soon became an internet sensation.
Scholten took to Facebook to share her journey, creating the hashtag "stowawayoshkoshcat" and posting updates to the "EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 - Pictures and Video!" Facebook page. Before she knew it, her Facebook posts blew up with likes, comments, and shares. Delilah the stowaway cat quickly became an Oshkosh star.
"We put a story up with a photo of her and people thought it was hysterical," Scholten explained. "They were commenting 'We want more Delilah,' so we did. Every day a couple of times a day I would put up a post and we used the hashtag ... People loved Delilah."
Delilah gained popularity so quickly that people attending the events in Oshkosh brought her gifts to the Scholten family's camper. Even one of the skywriters made a cat in the sky for her.
While Scholten documented Delilah's journey through her Facebook posts, she also made sure to highlight the Oshkosh events she attended as well.
"Every post I put up would have a photo of Delilah, but it also had something to do with Oshkosh ... It highlighted some of the fun things about Oshkosh, too, and we did that on purpose because we knew people were following this cat, and there's more to the story than just a cat. We had gone to Oshkosh for a reason, and we just wanted people to see what was there."
On the way back home, Delilah even got to do some more sightseeing as the Scholten family made a pit stop at Niagara Falls.
After safely returning home to St. Albans, Scholten says she and her family are already planning to bring Delilah back to Oshkosh again for next year's events.
The family is also aiming to get Delilah a brick under the Brown Arch to leave her permanent mark at Oshkosh.
For now, Delilah is getting some well-deserved rest back at home with her family to prepare for next year's journey.
To see more posts about Delilah's cross-country adventure, click here.