Mathew B and his buddy, Ashes the cat, are together on the road for since they’ve met. Ashes is a 3-year-old gray cat, and it has been through hell and back with his human, traveling all over the country in his 18-wheeler. That, of course, created a bond that is not easily broken.
Ashes has been a work partner and a companion to Mathew and was always beside him until one day in July, when they were in Springfield, Ohio. Mathew parked the truck at Love's stop, and the cat accidentally tumbled out.
The cat was scared and immediately ran off into the bushes. Matthew was very worried and started to search every hole, bush and cranny, but had no luck. He was devastated, but he had to continue his journey because he was on the clock. However, he knew that he had to come back.
Since then, he rearranged several of his routes so he could return to the same spot where he lost Ashes. He hoped that he will find Ashes if he was persistent enough.
Sometime earlier this month, the same stop was visited by Kimberly T. And her friend while they were traveling to New York. While they were heading to their car, they’ve noticed a skinny, hungry cat that was seeking attention.
"He was trying to not put his feet down on the ground, it was so cold," Kimberly remembers.
No one was claiming the cat, so she brought him to her car to warm him up. It was not hard to see that he has been on the streets for quite some time. He needed to be taken to a veterinarian and a lot of care.
Kimberly knew a place that can take good care of the little guy, but it was located at the end of her journey, in New York, so she decided to take him with her.
She took him to the Lollypop Farm, an animal welfare association in Fairport, New York. "What Kimberly didn't know was that this cat was not any ordinary cat — but a seasoned traveler himself," Lollypop Farm shared with the reporters.
"Our Admissions Team immediately scanned for a microchip, as they do with all incoming pets. 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! This was one cross-country kitty."
It turns out they found Ashes, Mathew’s lost cat. They dialed the number from the registration and at the other end of the line was Mathew, who was in Arkansas at the time. Needless to say, he was in total disbelief.
"I had been thinking about Ashes every day," he said to the staff at Lollypop Farm.
He rearranged his driving schedule and started his journey to New York immediately. While he was on the road, Ashes received much needed medical attention and gained some weight back.
About ten days after Ashes arrived, Matthew’s truck pulled up in front of the safe house.
The cat recognized his human friend right away and went to him. "Ashes knew him, and was immediately affectionate," the shelter says.
Matthew started to cry as he gently pressed his head against Ashes'.
"It's my Christmas miracle," he said.
"It's that microchip – without it, I wouldn't have ever gotten him back. The women that found him saved his life, but the microchip brought him home."
Besides the shelter team, two more people witnessed this event. Kimberly and her friend were so moved by this heart-warming reunion. They also fell in love with Ashes during their ride to New York and were so happy to see him get back where he belongs.
"Ashes and Matthew had a close relationship before he was lost - and Matthew says now it's even closer. Ashes just seems so happy to be back with him, and is acting more loving than ever before," Lollypop Farm says.
"We couldn't be happier for this adventurous cat to be back on the right track."
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