(Meredith) - Four months after a truck driver lost his 3-year-old cat, the adventurous duo is back on the road -- all thanks to a microchip and a thoughtful stranger.
Lollypop Farm, the Humane Shelter of Greater Rochester, New York, shared the heartwarming story on social media last week.
According to the shelter, a woman spotted the lost feline at a Love's Travel Stop in Ohio. She made a pit stop there in October while moving from the West Coast to the Rochester-area.
The woman, identified only as Kimberly T., said it was a 13-degree day when she discovered the cat, who appeared to be cold and emaciated.
“He was trying to not put his feet down on the ground, it was so cold,” she told the shelter.
Fearing for his safety, Kimberly decided to rescue the cat, named Ashes, and take him to Lollypop Farm upon arriving in Rochester.
The admissions team at the shelter scanned Ashes for a microchip and used it to locate his owner.
"Not only did he have one, but he had an owner who had registered him under a Texas address that was over 1,465 miles away," the shelter wrote in a blog post. "This was one cross-country kitty."
Matthew B., a trucker with an 18-wheeler, said he lost Ashes when the pair passed through Springfield, Ohio, in July.
After an emotional reunion with Matthew in November, the shelter said Ashes leaped gracefully into the truck and sat in his favorite spot.
Matthew said he was grateful that a stranger was kind enough to protect Ashes and rescue him from the cold.
“It’s my Christmas miracle,” he said.
Lollypop Farm shared the story as a reminder to pet owners about the importance of microchips to locate lost animals.
“It’s that microchip – without it, I wouldn’t have ever gotten him back,” said Matthew. “If you love your pet, you just have to chip them. The women that found him saved his life, but the microchip brought him home.”