A world-famous Wellington cat was seen being put in a car and driven away last night, prompting a flurry of concern on social media.
Known to pop up at random locations such as rest homes, yoga studios and even managed isolation, Turkish angora cat Mittens has long been a legend in New Zealand's capital city.
Mittens was reported safe shortly after, and guardian Silvio Bruinsma said on Friday he was enjoying a snooze after last night's adventure.
Bruinsma said the person who had taken him against his will had called to apologise soon after.
"These young individuals saw Mittens, got excited, jumped out of their car, grabbed him with the idea of taking him back to their flat - maybe to post selfies, I don't know - which is really a massive error in judgment.
"Mittens is a Wellington icon, he's important to the people of New Zealand, so it was a complete lack of common sense, no one should ever pick up someone else's animal."
Popular community Facebook page Vic Deals was buzzing with posts after someone witnessed the feline being picked up and put into a car "by two young guys in hoodies" at about 9pm on Dixon St.
"One of the Mittens fans saw it happening and immediately let me know, and made a post on Vic Deals that promptly exploded," Bruinsma said.
Within 20 minutes the catnapper had been identified and let Mittens out of their car, calling Bruinsma to explain.
Shortly after, with the help of Vic Deals Bruinsma was able to locate Mittens and bring him safely home.
The immediate support and concern for Mittens on social media was indication of the cat's fan base, and the strength of the Wellington community, he said.
"The way the community reacted is a wonderful reflection of the community and we are lucky in this part of the world.
"It's wonderful to see the community spring into action, there's certainly a number of locals that are looking out for him.
"It's amazing with the power of social media, how quickly you can locate things."